DENNIS FILES APPEAL TO FEDERAL COURT
In the lengthy interval since the last newsletter there has been a good deal of activity behind the scenes. Investigations concerning possible alternative suspects have been pursued. After extensive consultations with legal experts, Dennis decided that the best course to take for his second successive habeas application was to file pro se, or “for himself,” and request court-appointed counsel.
A writ of habeas corpus is used to bring a state conviction into the federal courts. Dennis’s application has now been filed with the First Circuit, in Boston. If the application is approved his case will be sent to Maine's federal district court. Dennis has been working on his application for many weeks. Dennis’s first habeas application, in 2000, was rejected. The bar for acceptance of a second successive habeas petition is extremely high — the comparison between first and second habeas petitions has been likened to the difference between a garden fence and a ten-story brick wall. Dennis made the decision to represent himself in good part so that in the event that this application were to fail he would at least know that he had given it his all.
As no doubt many of you are aware, our website has for some time been under daily hacker attack, and has often not been accessible. Board member Bob MacLaughlin and our new tekkie, Matt Hunt of A2Z Computing in Oakland, are presently revising the content of the website in preparation for switching it over to a new and more defensible server. One result of this attack has been the disabling of the e-mail address that is used to send out the newsletter — in fact right now it can only send out, not receive. This is the reason for the delay in passing along to you the first installment of investigative reporter Jordan Bailey’s three-part story on Dennis’s case published on July 14 by Courier Publications, which includes both the Rockland Courier-Gazette and the Republican Journal of Belfast.
Once again, our sincere thanks to all who have sent donations directly or who contribute through PayPal. All donations are tax-deductible and may be sent to Trial and Error, PO Box 153, Madawaska, Maine 04756.
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Bill Bunting V.P.