Trial and Error

The Outcry for Justice in the Dennis Dechaine Case

Why was evidence proving Dechaine innocent withheld?

Dec 18, 2010

December 18 2010
On Nov. 18, the political cartoon on the the newspaper’s opinion page pictured four large knives and a little pair of nail clippers.

I immediately thought of Dennis Dechaine. His life is being cut up by the big justices, but a little pair of nail clippers could save his life. The justices refuse to allow the fact to be heard that the DNA on the nail clippings of Sarah Cherry is not that of Dechaine, but is that of another male, who very well could  have been the murderer.

In the same issue, Justice Carl Bradford refuses to allow the opinions of two highly respected pathologists. Their opinions are that Dechaine was in police custody at the time of the murder.

Bradford says the new evidence is exculpatory. Webster’s Dictionary says that means “free of blame or declare or prove guiltless,” but it should have been argued in earlier proceedings.

The problem with that was that all the evidence that would have proved him innocent was withheld. This tells me that Bradford believes Dechaine is innocent, but doesn’t want that to be proven, which makes me wonder what is being hidden. Why are they trying so hard to suppress evidence that could prove Dechaine is innocent?

In the Dec. 4 issue of the Morning Sentinel, there is an article about the governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, trying to have a rock star pardoned of a 1963 charge of indecent exposure. Bob Butterworth, a past state attorney general, says, “It is very important to prosecute the guilty, but it is more important to exonerate the innocent.”

Gail French
North Belgrade

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