Trial and Error

The Outcry for Justice in the Dennis Dechaine Case

Maine’s justice system makes Italy’s look fair

Oct 12, 2011

Maine sunday Tele, Portland Press Hereld, Kennebec Journal

In Italy, prosecutors, seemingly on leave from a comic opera, insisted that “she-devil” Amanda Knox was guilty of murder no matter what science and common sense indicated. It took four years for justice to prevail. In Maine, supposedly a land of sober Yankee rectitude, Dennis Dechaine has been denied a retrial for more than 20 years, despite the fact that 100 percent of the scientific evidence supports his claim of innocence. With the discovery that the damning testimony of two detectives contradicted their original notes, the state’s “mountain of evidence” is revealed to be a hollow shell. That a second jury, if allowed to hear all the evidence, would again find Dechaine guilty, is all but inconceivable. That an innocent man may have been imprisoned until death for the unspeakable crime of a psychopath who, in effect, has enjoyed the protection of the state, should impel our attorney general to seek the truth, not to try to bury it. Compared to Maine’s, the Italian system of justice appears to be a shining model of efficiency, transparency, and fairness. Who would have guessed!

William Bunting


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