I returned to my home state of Maine three years ago after 25 years in Southern California because I so missed the people here, the caring and sincerity of Mainers.

Recently, I’ve become aware of the case against Dennis Dechaine through a friend and have immersed myself in information about the case from numerous sources.

I am appalled that this man is still in prison without having been given a fair trial. I am also appalled that the real perpetrator of this crime is still free to commit more atrocities against innocent children.

Given the mounting DNA evidence that points to alternate suspects, I don’t understand why the Attorney General’s Office continues to fight against a new trial. My question is: Why would they resist unless they are afraid of the truth?

This is about the life of a human being: a son, brother, uncle, friend and once a husband until he selflessly released his wife from their marriage after his appeal was denied. (A life sentence in Maine does not allow for parole.)

Please do the right thing and retry Dennis Dechaine.

Dianne C. Joseph


Sen. Collins no moderate on issues that matter most

It is sad to see Sen. Susan Collins joining with a few Republican senators wishing to block Susan Rice’s possible Cabinet appointment (“Collins still ‘troubled’ after meeting with Rice,” Nov. 29).

Falling short of merit, Sen. Collins cited U.N. Ambassador Rice’s statements after Benghazi and political ramifications during the presidential race as reasons for her uncertainty.

As I recall, U.N. Ambassador Rice stated at the time that this was not definite and that the attack had to be further evaluated.

It appears that when it comes to issues that are important, Sen. Collins appears to follow rather than lead. When matters of little or no consequence are brought before Congress, she’ll vote the other party. This is moderate?

Perhaps it’s time for the electorate of Maine to evaluate the word “moderate” when in the voting booth.

A.S. Milton


Democrats face dilemma in effort to unseat LePage

Now that the elections of 2012 are behind us, many citizens are turning their political attention to 2014. For Democrats in Maine, that means one thing: how best to encourage Gov. LePage to return to Marden’s. His leadership style may fit Marden’s quite well, but the Blaine House, not so much. Many citizens want to be proud of our governor again.

Eliot Cutler wants a second chance, and he has substantial appeal. There will certainly be other independent candidates, but none of them have Mr. Cutler’s name recognition and access to capital. He will be a formidable candidate.

Indeed, many Democrats, including myself, wish that Mr. Cutler had won in 2010. Further, I partially blame myself, as I could have voted for him over Libby Mitchell. If we had only had ranked-choice voting.

That leads us to 2014. If the established candidates (such as Chellie Pingree, Mike Michaud and Justin Alfond) stay out of the race, Mr. Cutler’s path will be clear, and he should succeed as Angus King did this year.

But Ben Grant, the state Democratic Party chair, doesn’t want the party to remain in third place, as it was in the U.S. Senate race. (Thank you, Cynthia Dill.) So, he and his successor will encourage a strong Democrat to run.

This could move the Democrats from third to second place, with the state being the ultimate loser. It would be easier if a strong-principled neophyte were to run.

The situation poses a problem for Maine Democrats: How do we reach the desired goal at minimal risk? Maximum risk would be another LePage term. I believe that Marden’s needs him more than the state does.

Democrats are impaled on the horns of a dilemma.

David S. Wakelin

South Portland

Basic message of Marxism sounds a lot like scripture

I write in reference to the letter from William Vaughan Jr. that appeared Nov. 20 in the Press Herald (Backer of end to tax cuts draws on outdated credo“).

He says that Sister Patricia Pora’s views on seeking a more just system are a restatement of Karl Marx’s 1875 slogan: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!”

I know very little of Karl Marx. I do know that what goes by the name of “Marxism” and “communism” is only one aspect of communism, which is atheistic communism.

The dictionary has various definitions of communism. One, found in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is: “A system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed.”

Where Mr. Vaughan sees Marxism, I see principles by which the first Christians lived in the early church, as stated in Acts of the Apostles 2:44-45 and 4:32-35. This is in addition to instructions to love our neighbors as ourselves and to do unto others as we’d like them to do to us.

The Hebrew Scriptures are replete with admonitions to help the poor — Exodus 23:11, Leviticus 19:9-10 and Deuteronomy 15:7-8 and 24:14, to name only a few.

I find it strange that some are willing put aside God’s commands as an “outdated credo,” but are willing to raise up human institutions (capitalism) as the only credo worth supporting.

Philip M. Tracy

South Portland

Same-day registration can be a nightmare

Enough is enough on beating up on Charlie Webster. The situation is still there. The whole election process needs to be overhauled.

I’ve worked at the polls. Same-day registration is a nightmare. Voting with no ID is a crime.

Charlie may have seen a small number of blacks but only because they stood out. I am sure there were many more white people voting illegally. This has been proven all over the country. Believe it!

Marie C. Brown