Maine's bail system

Michael Sefton (right), a Massachusetts police officer, and Brian Gagan, (left), a former Scarborough and Westbrook police officer, discuss the psychological autopsy of Steven Lake, who gunned down his estranged wife, Amy, and their two children before turning the gun on himself in June.

Shooting of Dexter family brings bipartisan focus to domestic violence bail decisions

By John Christie, ©Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting on Dec. 26, 2011, at 2:08 p.m.
The deaths of Amy, Monica and Coty Lake at the hands of husband and father Steven Lake may be the tragedy that brings major reform to how the criminal justice system handles dangerous domestic violence cases. The June 13 triple murder-suicide is becoming a rallying point for changes in the …
Steven Lake arrested in June 2010 for allegedly holding his wife and children hostage in a bedroom and threatening to kill them and-or himself.

‘Broken’ bail system freed man who went on to murder family

By John Christie, Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting on Dec. 20, 2011, at 5:10 p.m.
“These four people died needlessly …” — From a psychological autopsy of the triple murder and suicide in Dexter, June 13, 2011. AUGUSTA | The study rests on a shelf deep in the documents room at the state library. It has been sitting there since September 2006, most of …
Part 4 of 4

Maine’s bail system: will it be improved?

By By Emily Guerin, Mary Helen Miller, Naomi Schalit and John Christie, © Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting on April 12, 2011, at 5:21 p.m.
Final in a four-part series Gov. Paul LePage’s proposed budget restores to the state judicial system a position that in the past has helped to improve the hiring and training of state bail commissioners. According to Leigh Saufley, the chief justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, the governor has …

Maine’s bail system: best state can afford or a threat to due process?

By Emily Guerin, Mary Helen Miller, Naomi Schalit and John Christie ©Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting on March 24, 2011, at 8:59 p.m.
Part 3 of 4 Jon Gale, a Portland attorney, periodically serves as “lawyer of the day” in District Court, representing defendants in arraignments. The defendants already have had their bail set by one of the state’s bail commissioners, independent contractors whose position was created by the Legislature 128 years ago. …

Officials may set bond amounts without full criminal history

By Emily Guerin, Mary Helen Miller, Naomi Schalit and John Christie ©Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting on March 23, 2011, at 11:23 p.m.
Part 2 of 4 In December 2010, police in Cumberland County tried to stop a speeder. He led them on a chase and ended up crashing on an I-95 exit ramp. The local bail commissioner was told the charges were driving at a criminal speed and operating with a suspended …

Report: People need almost no legal training to set bail

By Emily Guerin, Mary Helen Miller, Naomi Schalit and John Christie ©Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting on March 22, 2011, at 10:50 p.m.
PART 1 OF 4 If you are arrested in Maine, everyone you deal with — with one exception — will be a professional. The police officer who arrested you is certified and has at least 100 hours of training. The prosecuting attorney, your own attorney and the judge all went …
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