What madness is this, that state officials, including prosecutors and judges, bound by some of the oldest and most revered oaths in U.S. history, would willfully ignore evidence that may not only prove that an innocent man has been imprisoned for a horrible crime, but also serve to lead investigators to the person who is truly responsible for the unimaginable atrocities committed against 12-year-old Sarah Cherry?

As an American citizen and citizen of the great state of Maine, it is inconceivable to me that the men and women we trust to uphold our values, defend our liberties and protect us from harm could be so casually dismissive in their attitude toward the overwhelming evidence that has come to light pointing toward Dennis Dechaine’s innocence.

I do not know who killed Sarah Cherry in 1988, but I’d like to find out. I would like to be shown undeniable proof that some terrible monster who has been lurking around snatching up little girls has been caught and dealt with.

I’d like to think state officials would like this, too, and will finally leave their egos at the door and do their jobs as they swore an oath to do and listen to what forensic experts and witnesses to events surrounding the case have been trying to say:

They say there’s more to this story, more facts to consider and suspects to pursue, and that there may still be a monster out there somewhere, free to take more innocent lives.

Professional integrity. Doing the right thing in the face of public humiliation. Officials owe that much to Sarah Cherry. They owe that much to Dennis Dechaine. They owe that much to you and me, and they owe that much and more to whoever destroyed that little girl.

It’s time they paid up.

Emily Paine

Buxton

Whose brilliant (?) idea was it to cover the front page of the July 4 Sunday Telegram with a story regarding a murderer?

This is not the kind of thing I expected to see on our national holiday, as well as being a Sunday. Could this have not waited for Monday? Not to mention the fact that the article rambled on for four pages.

You would have been better off using the front page of the Maine/New England section for it.

There, I saw happy smiling faces of fathers with their children, a smiling soldier, and a hugging couple — and a story about people trying to save the planet.

That was a heck of a more pleasing sight to start a Sunday morning with.

Someone needs to go back to the drawing board and start over!

Zach White

Waldoboro

Hats off to Trevor Maxwell and the Maine Sunday Telegram for such extensive coverage of the Dennis Dechaine case.

I do want to comment on a few points: What does state prosecutor William Stokes mean that Dennis “does not deserve a new trial”? How does he define “deserve” and under what circumstances would someone “deserve” a new trial?

As for being given “so many opportunities to make your case and you haven’t done it,” I would hope Mr. Stokes knows that appeals are based on procedural issues, not evidence.

Secondly, Mr. Stokes complains about how much the state has spent on the case. Think how much the state might have saved on incarceration expenses had Dennis been allowed to be tested and present DNA evidence that would have excluded him back in 1988.

Lastly, Mr. Stokes is quoted as saying Dennis said, “It must be somebody else inside of me.” This statement comes from the trial testimony of Detective Alfred Hendsbee who claimed, under oath, that he was reading this statement from his notes.

However, when Jim Moore gained access to those notes, he discovered that no such quote is in those notes.

Webster’s Dictionary defines “deserve” as “to have a right to because of acts or qualities; be worthy of.” I always thought any person in America deserves the right to a fair trial.

If a defendant does not receive a fair trial, then he deserves a new trial. Dennis did not receive a fair trial because the investigation was incompetent, evidence was concealed and police gave false testimony.

I think those are grounds for “deserving” a new trial and Dennis is most certainly worthy of one.

Genie Nakell

Portland

Race for governor offers chance to sniff out options

I could not wait a second after viewing Steve Meyer’s editorial cartoon July 11 before sitting down to write this letter. Steve was only partially correct in his cartoon showing the stink of the Republican fish and the Democratic skunk candidates for governor of Maine.

While the cartoon is clever, it does not give a complete picture of our choices.

What should have been included is the perfume of the productive tomato plant choice we have, fortunately, in independent candidate for governor Eliot Cutler.

Moderate voters and rational Republicans and Democrats do not have to get used to the smell, use a gas mask or clothespin, or spray the strongest air fresheners until November. Eliot Cutler is a breath of fresh air just like a tomato plant in its prime: earthy (experienced in government and economic programs that work), aromatic (no bull) and nutritious (pragmatic and creative solutions to our problems as a state).

So, voters of Maine, if you have not already looked at Eliot Cutler as a candidate, you should do so. Eliot Cutler’s web page — Cutler2010.com — has a wealth of information about the issues that concern us and video of his appearances at a wide variety of events.

You can hear and see for yourself why moderate and rational Mainers are looking to Eliot for the leadership and management that we need in this state. Eliot’s campaign office can tell you where to meet him or see him at an event. You owe it to yourself and your families to check him out and understand that you truly have a fresh and positive candidate to vote for this year. No need to hold your nose!

Kerry Corthell

Scarborough

Throughout the state, comments made by the anti-LePage activists offer typical New Democrat accusations, with no insight into reality.

With total “take care of me” tunnel vision, they promote the same self-defeating attitudes that have kept the same spend-foolish, tax-crazy people in power for years.

Taking care of everybody happens when we can all take care of ourselves. Bottom line is, Democrats have been in control of the Legislature and governor’s chair for nearly all of the last 40 years.

It is time we leave the wilderness and follow a real leader — a common-sense, financially educated, constitutionally principled CEO.

Paul LePage is not into this for himself. He has used the skills acquired from a lifetime of hard work and sound judgment to improve his community. Now he wants to do it for Maine.

He cuts waste, fills the remaining space with intelligent staff, and then they get to work rebuilding a broken system. He has no problem with threatened vetoes of his policies because he takes it to the streets.

If the people don’t want it, fine. But most do like his ideas because they work. Proof is the huge number of non-Republicans who supported his re-election in Waterville.

Many of them have now joined the re-energized and refocused Republican Party and support LePage for governor. Yesterday’s Democrats are practical, sensible people, and most unenrolled voters are such because they have become disgusted with politics as usual.

Paul is far from usual. He is extraordinary. Not unlike most of us, who are still surviving despite the burdens placed upon us over these last 40 years.

Paul is one of us, but with the skills and experience to put us back on track. Mainers will do well to put Paul LePage in the Blaine House. Score: Everyone wins.

Dena Worster

Palmyra