Once again, I’m expressing complete dismay in Maine’s judicial system.

Criminal investigators using witnesses who look out for only themselves. These are non-credible witnesses with criminal histories.

In the trial of Raymond Bellavance, prosecutors secured a guilty verdict from jurors by showing that the law doesn’t need cold, hard evidence to convict; just the words of informants.

From the information I gathered by following the trial in the newspaper, it seems clear that jurors no longer honor the standards of “reasonable doubt.” (It probably didn’t help that New Year’s Day was knocking on the deliberation room door.)

As Bellavance’s attorney said, “Proximity doesn’t make you guilty of a crime.” Along with this and no DNA left at the crime scene, a jury still found him guilty.

Did anyone take into consideration that a Vassalboro town meeting had been held the night before concerning the issue of the topless coffee shop and the possibility of extremely vocal townspeople who could have been potential arsonists?

No. Investigators chose to follow the only lead they had: A man with a criminal history who was an acquaintance of an employee. Prosecutors’ only concern is having a high conviction rate when the time comes that they need to make it look to jurors like they’re always doing the right thing.

Leon Nason

Skowhegan


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