Trial and Error

The Outcry for Justice in the Dennis Dechaine Case

Letters to the editor, Aug. 23, 2010

Aug 23, 2010

http://www.pressherald.com/opinion/monday-opinion_2010-08-23.html

State looks worried in Dechaine drug indictment

I am baffled about the motives of Maine’s attorney general and local prosecutors for deciding to indict Dennis Dechaine for “drug trafficking.”

No drugs were found on Dennis or in his cell. There is no evidence that he bought or sold drugs. He ingested drugs in order to try to commit suicide. Had Dennis tried to hang himself with a sheet, would he have been indicted for trying to commit suicide or perhaps trafficking in bed linens?

I can only suspect that state government is concerned that Dennis will in fact be granted a new trial and be acquitted. Do they want to make sure then, that even though he would have served 22 years for a crime he did not commit, that they can stick him with five more years?

Or do they just want to try to make him look bad to a potential jury pool? If these are not their fears, why are they wasting their time and our money indicting a man for trying to commit suicide who is serving a life sentence without the chance of parole?

As for Bob Dorr’s Aug. 7 letter to the editor, he only gives credence to someone’s opinion who heard trial testimony about Dennis’ drug use.

What is more important is what was not heard as trial testimony: DNA evidence, alternate suspects and the truth about investigators’ notes. One can only ask why people who are convinced   Dennis is guilty are so afraid of a new trial where all the evidence is finally heard.

Betty Chase

Portland

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