The March 1 article about Foster Bates (“Citing new evidence, man convicted in 1994 murder in South Portland keeps fighting for another trial”) notes that a retrial based on new information must be requested within a one-year deadline (starting from the date when the new evidence could have been discovered through due diligence).

Given the very real possibility of later discovery of exculpatory evidence, particularly with the development of DNA technologies, the rigid exclusion of valid evidence is indefensible.

Yes, there can be frivolous presentations of new evidence that do not have substance and will not change the results of a trial, and this mandates some mechanism to judge the soundness of the new information and support for a retrial. This can be assessed by a judiciary panel with temporary members (consultants?) chosen in response to the type of new evidence presented for a specific case.

There should be no statute of limitations for consideration of new evidence that could correct a wrong conviction; the reversals of decades-old convictions attest to the travesty of such a policy.

Daniel Krell


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