Trial and Error

The Outcry for Justice in the Dennis Dechaine Case

State continues to interfere with Dechaine’s defense

Jan 2, 2010

http://www.pressherald.com/opinion/cost-shifting-hurts-the-insured_2011-01-02.html

Since January 1989, when Dennis Dechaine was first denied his request for DNA testing on the evidence surrounding the gruesome death of Sarah Cherry, this case has been massively tilted in the state’s favor.

In the 22 years since, a plethora of new evidence has been unearthed and/or substantiated that both the state and the courts do not want considered in new proceedings that surely should result in a new trial for the 52-year-old Madawaska native.

What is the Attorney General’s Office hiding this time?

The evidence, some of it sealed in the state’s lockboxes for years, includes perjury on the part of testifying police officers; officers who were allegedly reading from their notes at the first trial but when those notes were finally unsealed we learned they said something very different than what the jury heard as revealed in trial transcript.

The time-of-death questions raised are clearly the most evocative, but so are the mathematically highly improbable statistics of Dechaine’s identifiable possessions being discovered at and near the crime scene as they allegedly were. The odds against that were greater than 99 to 1.

And why did the state incinerate evidence, including hairs found on Sarah’s battered body that would have exonerated Dechaine and perhaps identified her killer? As we now know, the male DNA found under her thumbnail did not belong to Dechaine.

Why is the state so reticent to have all the facts on the table, side by side, at the same time? Why does it want a potentially innocent man to remain in prison for life for a crime a massive amount of evidence says he did not commit? Why do the judge and the state insist on playing loophole games to keep information from a potential jury?

Understand, Dechaine is not looking for a get-out-of-jail-free card. He is only seeking a new trial — a fair one.

Why is the state so opposed to that? Why?

Dennis Curley

President, CanXus Broadcasting Corp.

Caribou

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