Trial and Error

The Outcry for Justice in the Dennis Dechaine Case

Grief of victim’s mother shouldn’t prevent new trial

May 18, 2015

Portland Press Herald

I read the Associated Press article on Dennis Dechaine’s request for a new trial in the 1988 killing of Sarah Cherry (“Dennis Dechaine asks state’s high court for new trial based on DNA evidence,” May 14).

At one point Justice Andrew Mead asked Assistant Attorney General Donald Macomber what the harm in another trial would be. Pointing to Debra Crosman, the victim’s mother, Macomber answered, “The harm is sitting right over there.”

I am not, in any way, undermining her grief. But with all due respect – and I mean all due respect – what does her grief have to do with the innocence of a man spending the rest of his life in prison for a crime he didn’t commit? There were two tragedies that day.

Beverly Gallant


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