Currently Browsing: Letters to the Editor
Oct 3, 2012
Below are two letters to the editor written by Jon Lund, Maine’s first full-tine Attorney General and former Chair of the Maine Criminal Law Review Commission. His 2008 letter (at bottom) was ignored by the media. His latest, written since the discovery of additional DNA evidence, appeared in the Kennebec Journal on October 2, 2012.
October 2, 2012 at 12:00 AM
AG should take fresh look at Dechaine...
Jun 29, 2012
from Portland Press Herald, June 29, 2012
Few have enough information about the Dennis Dechaine case to make an intelligent decision as to guilt or innocence. However, if this evidence-deprived injustice continues, this case will forever stand out as an indictment of the system.
The best way to avoid an injustice during prosecution is for prosecutors to present the whole truth to jurors....
Jun 21, 2012
Bangor Daily News, June 20, 2012
This summer I am vacationing in Maine. I am particularly anxious and incensed this time, as Dennis Dechaine gets his hearing to review DNA evidence from Sarah Cherry. Dennis’ integrity is obvious, due to the wide support for and visibility of his case. I want as many people as possible to know him, and believe we all need Dennis on the outside, healing,...
Jun 8, 2012
It has been 24 years and the state is still denying evidence that could help clear Dennis Deschaine.
What are they scared of? Isn’t it worth their peace of mind or do they have no conscience? Are they afraid of what people will say about them? Is their pride more important then someone’s life?
Why would anyone deny this after all these years, a guilty person would give up.
Look how many...
May 31, 2012
A study has revealed that more than 2,000 persons found guilty of serious crimes in the United States over the past 23 years have been exonerated (“In 23 years, 2,000 exonerations,” May 21).
Surely many other wrongfully convicted persons have not been exonerated – the authors note heavily populated Texas and California counties that have seen no exonerations. They might also have noted the...
May 16, 2012
Portland Press Herald 5-16-12
Recent exonerations in Virginia and Colorado of men wrongfully convicted of murder in the 1990s bring to mind Maine’s Dennis Dechaine, who has been imprisoned for nearly 24 years following a murder conviction that has “wrongful” written all over it.
The Virginia verdict against Michael Wayne Hash was overturned after a judge found prosecutorial misconduct...
May 11, 2012
Portland Press Herald 5-11-12
In the case the state of Maine built against Dennis Dechaine, they claim their investigation and collection of evidence were done with pristine care — well, all except for one piece, and in my humble opinion it is the most crucial of all.
The state claims they used dirty nail clippers when collecting the fingernails from Sarah Cherry. I’m amazed that the only thing...
Apr 29, 2012
Portland Press Herald 4-29-12
I’m going to begin this letter to the editor by congratulating and thanking Superior Court Justice Carl O. Bradford. It is a positive step when on May 23, Bradford will hear oral arguments in regard to pending DNA evidence in the death of Sarah Cherry.
The congratulations are in order because I want to believe: that this Maine justice during his tenure on the bench...
Apr 17, 2012
Portland Press Herald 4-17-12
It was heartening to read a Los Angeles Times story in the April 7 edition of the Press Herald announcing that another innocent person has been exonerated, although it came after he served many years of a 99-year sentence for a purse snatching that he did not commit.
Credit goes to Dallas District Attorney Craig Watkins for having the fortitude to start a Conviction...
Apr 11, 2012
KJ Online Article: Was cause of justice served by judge’s ruling?
The many recent exonerations of wrongfully convicted persons because of improved scientific forensic tools have exposed flawed judicial systems nationwide.
Too often the prime focus of courts is on a strict adherence to legal procedures that stifle the search for the truth. As a result, a number of state courts now accept overriding...
Apr 10, 2012
Kennebec Journal 4-10-12
To err is all too human. A recent “60 Minutes” story concerned Michael Morton, wrongfully convicted 25 years ago for murder after the prosecutor withheld vital evidence from the defense.
Tragically, the real killer killed again. The prosecutor apologized for the error without accepting blame. Luckily for him, the Supreme Court has granted prosecutors immunity for...
Feb 19, 2012
Bangor Daily News 2/19/12
The Maine Law School held a groundbreaking conference on Maine’s post-conviction review process Saturday, Feb. 4. Approximately 100 attorneys and academics, including the Attorney General, law court justices and the original Dennis Dechaine trial judge, Carl Bradford, were given a critical look at the process faced by defendants claiming innocence and seeking...
Oct 22, 2011
Portland Press Herald
October 22 2011
There has been a lot of public outcry over the state of Georgia
putting a man to death when there were many indications that he was,
in fact, innocent.
That can’t happen here, right? Because we don’t have the death
But Dennis Dechaine is serving a life sentence for a crime that he
Among other exculpatory evidence, such...
Oct 12, 2011
Maine sunday Tele, Portland Press Hereld, Kennebec Journal
October 12 2011
In Italy, prosecutors, seemingly on leave from a comic opera, insisted that “she-devil” Amanda Knox was guilty of murder no matter what science and common sense indicated. It took four years for justice to prevail. In Maine, supposedly a land of sober Yankee rectitude, Dennis Dechaine has been denied a retrial for more...
Sep 17, 2011
Bangor Daily News 9-17-11
Three years have now passed since Dennis Dechaine filed his motion for a retrial in order to present several forms of significant scientific evidence — DNA, time of death, et al. — of his innocence of the 1988 murder of Sarah Cherry.
It may help in understanding how long this has been to remember that Merriwether Lewis and William Clark took three years to explore...