- Associated Press - Thursday, October 8, 2015

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

Public defenders argue 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 say the 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. appeared skeptical of those arguments at a hearing Wednesday, noting that many of the defendants pleaded guilty even before drug-test results were received or the problems at the lab surfaced, suggesting that the defendants knew they were guilty and sought to minimize their sentences.

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Information from: The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., https://www.delawareonline.com

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