Sunday, November 1, 2009

North and South - The "other" Maine

In the 1930's a group of nine black youths were imprisoned for crimes they didn't commit. They were tried by all-white juries. Here's a link to a posting about the case at Wikipedia. Later it was proven that blacks had been kept off of the jury rolls, they got new trials.

People often say we have two Maine's. Recent school consolidation measures makes one wonder if it isn't true. It's unfair to rural Maine; it puts us in a bind... placing penalties on towns who can't find others willing to join them to form larger units. There's even been talk about us seceding.

Some people in Lewiston/Auburn believe they're the "other" Maine, while people north of Bangor feel we are. Portland is more bustling than the rest of the state, thacity, that's for sure. There are alot of French people in L/A, and in other cities in New England. Nixon's Committee to Reelect the President (CREEP) used that to their advantage in 1972 when they paid someone to write a letter suggesting that Senator Ed Muskie, who was running against Nixon, was prejudiced against the French... that he had referred to them as "Canucks." Muskie's response became known as his "crying speech." He dropped out of the race after not doing as well as expected in the primaries. That summer the Watergate scandal began to unfold, but Nixon said he wasn't involved, and we elected him, by a landslide.

Do you ever wonder if Dennis Dechaine didn't have a fair trial because he was from the "other" Maine... the northern half? The trial was held in Rockland Maine. I'm guessing that there were no jurors from the north; the decisions which have kept him in prison all these years are coming from the south.

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