- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 13, 2015

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The Delaware Supreme Court has refused to vacate the guilty pleas of scores of drug defendants because of an evidence-tampering scandal at the state drug-testing lab.

Public defenders argued that the pleas should be tossed because it’s unclear whether the state could have met its burden of proving guilt had the cases gone to trial. They also said defendants should not be subjected to sentences any harsher than those from their plea bargains if they are convicted at trial.

Chief Justice Leo Strine Jr. noted in a ruling Monday that problems at the lab did not include planting evidence, and that none of the 45 defendants involved in the appeal argued that he or she did not, in fact, possess illegal drugs.

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