March 25 Letters to the Editor

Posted March 24, 2010, at 5:44 p.m.

DNA and Dechaine

Every day that Dennis Dechaine spends in jail, the worse Maine looks, resurrecting the image that the state is behind the times in stubbornly maintaining that it cannot make any mistakes, a position that is ironically held by the very agency that is supposed to keep up with the times — our own Attorney General’s Office.

When I was in the House of Representatives, I met with then Attorney General Steven Rowe and Assistant Attorney General Bill Stokes over the inconsistencies of the Attorney General’s Office in the Dechaine case. When I mentioned that in light of the frequent exonerations around the country Maine could also have a few in-mates who are innocent, Stokes immediately retorted, “In Maine we’re different!” I couldn’t believe what I heard. Even Rowe winced, not that he ever did anything constructive to allay the growing conviction that Dechaine did not receive a fair trial and that he might indeed be innocent given the results of DNA tests.

Stokes, the state’s chief prosecutor, has been particularly ambivalent in regard to DNA. While he dismisses the results of two DNA tests showing Dechaine innocent of the 1986 murder of 12-year-old baby sitter Sarah Cherry, he has used DNA to help convict felons. What Stokes doesn’t get but most states do is that DNA cuts both ways; it can prove the guilt of a person, but it can also prove the innocence of a defendant or convict — without a doubt.

Ross Paradis

Frenchville

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A dream come true

Everything we have dreamed of our entire lives came to pass Sunday night when the U.S. House of Representatives passed the landmark health care bill.

As of Monday morning, we all have health care that will only cost $940 billion and will reduce the deficit by $136 billion over the next 10 years. And, all of this won’t cost us middle class taxpayers a cent as President Obama has promised repeatedly that he won’t raise taxes on those earning less than $250,000 by a single penny.

Additionally, he has stated our health insurance premiums will go down by 3,000 percent, giving us an even larger savings. This leaves just the rich to pay for all that free health care and much, much more.

What is more surprising is that all this was accomplished despite threats of filibuster by the Republican minority. And, the Democrats found a way of passing major legislation that effectively does away with the concept of the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which reserves to the states all the powers not explicitly granted to the federal government.

If only our own Legislature could figure out how to overcome troublesome provisions in Maine’s Constitution such as requiring a balanced budget. Maybe Reps. Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud could spend a day in Augusta during their Easter recess giving lessons on how to accomplish seemingly unconstitutional acts while giving everyone the proverbial free lunch.

William Chapman

Rockport

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Liberalism on ropes

As a conservative I want to sincerely thank President Obama for all he has done and will continue to do to promote our conservative causes.

Although he did not invent liberalism or its something-for-nothing mentality, nor did he remove “government by the people” and replace it with “governance over the people,” he has single-handedly taken the meaning of liberalism to a dangerous new level.

He has provided us with a reason to wake up and put country first. For whatever their reasons, conservatives just haven’t cared much these last several years. President Obama has changed all that. He’s become our reason, our inspiration, and our determination to put liberalism in check once and for all.

Conservatives all across America are uniting, organizing, protesting and just getting involved in the political process. Stopping liberal advancement will be no easy task and will require a continued organized effort. I’m afraid these current efforts will be our last stand, and losing this current battle is not an option we have.

Current elections and those in the fall will show liberalism is on the ropes, and in 2012 we’ll go for the knockout. President Obama has shown us the dangers of unrestrained liberalism.

Because of him we can now see what a nation with no personal responsibility, unrestrained government, and fiscal insanity looks like. Remember, fellow conservatives, it is to this administration that we owe a big debt. It is responsible for getting us off our backsides and taking the call to action.

Joe Clement

Van Buren

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