May 10, 2011
Augusta – The statehouse hosted a public hearing on Tuesday on a bill that could grant a new trial to convicted murderor Dennis Dechaine.
The bill would amend current laws regarding post-judgment DNA analysis.
Dechaine was convicted back in 1989 of murdering 12-year old Sarah Cherry. Since then he has been claiming they got the wrong man.
Representative John Martin says he sponsors this bill so that this case can finally be closed for good.
“It seemed to me that both sides could bring this issue to a close so that the family of this young girl would no longer have to read about this every 6 months or every 3 months. And the Dechaine family could also get it over with and decide whether or not this person is innocent or guilty. And then we can all move on,” said Martin.
Opponents of this bill say this would place too much weight on DNA evidence alone without considering all other evidence.
Though much discussion focused on the Dechaine case, the bill would affect all cases that meet certain criteria.