Trial and Error

The Outcry for Justice in the Dennis Dechaine Case

LePage on death penalty, Dechaine

Sep 20, 2010

GOP gubernatorial hopeful Paul LePage this week made some interesting comments about capital punishment and convicted murderer Dennis Dechaine.

LePage, answering questions about the state’s judicial system, said, “On the record, and I’ll be very candid, I do think Maine should have the death penalty.”

Maine abolished the death penalty in 1887, becoming one of the first states to do so.

LePage wasn’t asked about his stance on capital punishment. His view was unsolicited, as were his statements about Dechaine, who is currently serving a life sentence for killing 12-year-old Sarah Cherry in 1988.

LePage was addressing transparency within the state judicial system when he brought up Dechaine.

LePage: “If you suspect you made a mistake, don’t be ashamed to reopen (a case) and double-check yourself. There have been several cases in the last couple of decades that the press has written about.”

Reporter: “Are you referring specifically to the Dechaine case?”

LePage: “Yes, that’s one case I’ve been hearing about. … I keep reading that there’s doubt, there’s doubt, there’s doubt. Well, if there’s doubt, why don’t we go open it up and look at it? Why is the (Attorney General’s Office) completely unwilling to go look at it?”

To be clear, LePage said he didn’t have knowledge of the case, nor did he proclaim that Dechaine was innocent.

The full story can be read at:

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