Sunday, December 8, 2013
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.
Thomas Connolly, right, verifies evidence when he is called as a witness June 12 in Dennis Dechaine’s bid for a new trial. A letter writer says prosecutors should be held to the same standard of truth as witnesses.
John Ewing/Staff Photographer
The best way to avoid an injustice during prosecution is for prosecutors to present the whole truth to jurors. Witnesses swear before testimony to present the whole truth. Prosecutors should be held to the same standard, even if the truth casts doubt over their efforts to gain or maintain a conviction. Unlike grand jury indictments, where prosecutors are not required to present evidence showing a person's innocence, a trial should be held to a higher standard.
The Dechaine prosecutor is quoted as saying that another male's DNA other than Dechaine's on the thumbnail proves nothing to them. But to a juror, the results of and the handling of the evidence would show the following: (a) The DNA is not Dechaine's; (b) the DNA is from another male; and (c) the evidence was processed with naivete and was handled in a careless manner.
From there, it is reasonable to assume that perhaps, just maybe, the handling of all important DNA was not the only bungled part of the investigation. Now you have the seeds of reasonable doubt planted. Game on. The prosecution with all of its confidence can work to erase that doubt, while the defense works to grow it into a meaningful deliberation issue.
Folks, this is how justice gets served. Each side presents the whole truth as they know it and jurors decide. I think it is time that Dechaine be given a new trial. The integrity of the system that is supposed to rightfully convict or acquit deserves better than this case has called into question.
MaineCare funding trumps study for east-west highway
We all know Gov. LePage grew up poor and homeless. We hear it over and over.
Why is it then that he would take all things from Mainers?
Taking MaineCare from elderly people who can't pay for medications as it is. Taking day care from children whose parents are trying to make a better life for them.
So instead of taking $300,000 and putting it into a study to see if an east-west highway is a good idea (it's just a study, not even a road), how about we take that $300,000 and put it back into programs that will help our most vulnerable: the young and the old?
Oil prices no reason for ignoring Syrian outrages
After reading about the massacre in Syria, I have had a hard time getting my stomach to stop turning over. Reading about the children who were brutally murdered -- and who possibly watched others being murdered ahead of them -- disturbed me on both a parental level and at a very basic human level.
As I read along in the article, it was stated that although several countries, believing that the Syrian government had condoned the attacks, had united in throwing all Syrian diplomats out, no one appeared to be responding directly to these attacks.
The question was put forth, "Why isn't America taking the lead on this?" The response I read to that question chilled me as much as having read about the atrocity itself.
The question was posed whether we are unwilling to "put boots on the ground" because it is a campaign year, and the politicians, the president especially, do not want to incur a backlash from the potential of higher oil prices. I had to read the paragraph more than once.
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