Apr 26, 2014
Once again Dennis Dechaine has been victimized by Judge Carl Bradford. The retired active justice remains very much in character, wrapped in an aura of infallibility, oblivious to the progress of science in the application of justice.
At the 1989 trial that resulted in Dechaine’s conviction for the murder of Sarah Cherry, Bradford denied Dechaine’s request for DNA testing, saying that the testing was not reliable. For his information, more than 300 inmates have been exonerated over the past three decades because of DNA findings just through the Innocence Project.
Bradford is not alone in his belief that Dechaine is guilty of murder, no matter what the evidence. The attorney general’s office for the past quarter of a century has stubbornly wrapped itself in the mantra of infallibility: “In Maine, we’re different.”
No matter that DNA tests fail to tie Dechaine to the crime, that time of death eliminates Dechaine as the perpetrator, that no trace of the victim was ever found in his truck, that investigators changed their notes and perjured themselves in court, and that 54 percent of Maine people polled support a new trial, as does former Attorney General Jon Lund. The miscarriage of justice continues.
The Dark Ages of Maine’s judicial system is in stark contrast to the Enlightenment Age throughout the rest of the country. The Damon Thibodeaux case in Louisiana stands out. There the presiding judge in the rape-murder trial and the attorney general agreed that DNA and other evidence proved Thibodeaux’s innocence, and the 15-year death row inmate was released in 2012.