In 1989, Judge Carl Bradford rejected Dennis Dechaine’s request for DNA testing before his trial for the murder of Sarah Cherry because Dechaine could not guarantee exculpatory results.

Recently, (article, “Maine convicted murderer Dennis Dechaine loses bid for new trial,” April 10) after having finally allowed the testing of the by-now old and degraded DNA, Bradford ruled that the exculpatory results obtained did not outweigh evidence of Dechaine’s guilt presented at trial. This included claims by two detectives that Dechaine had obliquely confessed to them.

Bradford, following his own narrow interpretation of a statute that might have been written by the Mad Hatter and the March Hare, would not consider compelling evidence — evidence never given to the defense — that the original notes of these two detectives contradicted their sworn testimony. And because this evidence could not be included by Dechaine in his appeal, the state supreme court will not be considering it either.

Bradford is a master-crafter of legal Catch-22s. Would that we could believe that his formidable legal agility was employed in the search for the truth, rather than obscuring it.

William BuntingWhitefield

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