Demanding Accountability in Maine

Integrity4Maine held a rally this past weekend against the prosecutorial misconduct infecting the District Attorney’s office in Hancock County. Carletta Bassano’s (the current DA) office has a reputation for falsely convicting innocent people by withholding exculpatory evidence and engineering biased testimonies from clients. This is the same office that houses Mary Kellet, the Asst. District Attorney and prosecutor with a per capita prosecution rate that is forty times higher than the general U.S. population.
The stories around the DA’s office became part of a national conversation when Kellet landed in hot water in her attempts to destroy Vladek Filler, an innocent father. Integrity4Maine made the DA’s office a large part of its life as an activist organization after following the activities of its laywers. I4M’s founder, Brian Danielson, served as the master of ceremonies at the rally and addressed the crowd of 32 with detailed knowledge of how utterly bent the system is.
The corruption is systemic, and is supported by a network of cronies including Paul Cavanaugh (who does not even acknowledge that corruption exists) and Bill Entwisle. All of the prosecutors are, in essence, partners in crime. To put it simply, if you are accused of a crime in Maine, they will strip your human rights to convict you.
This will happen even if you’ve never committed a crime at all.
Paul Elam was originally scheduled to speak at the rally, but fell ill and was unable to attend. I went to Ellisworth, Maine to speak on behalf of AVFM in Paul’s stead. Roughly 90 minutes of footage of the speakers was captured, but not all of it is subject for release. Some of the speakers were victims of the DA’s office, and it is assumed they would rather not be publicized. Full speaker clips of the individuals shown here will be available soon.
But in the meantime, take a look at this video on my channel I put together to hit the high points. If you share the video, you would help me show the world that yes, activists are doing things.
It’s important for you to understand how this affects you personally. A court systems works a little bit like a brain (although admittedly the analogy is limited). As you know, a brain constantly rewires itself through behavior. When you do something like drive a car, you are actually making it easier to do the same thing again. We call this “practice,” and practice ultimately creates habit. In the court system, systemic habits are called precedents, and are formed by the combined behavior of attorneys, judges and justices.
When a case goes to trial, a certain verdict and sentence makes it easier for the court system to make the same kind of decisions. The hierarchy in the court system places the federal Supreme Court at the top in the United States. When the Supreme Court makes a decision, it becomes precedent for everyone in the U.S. from that point on.
Power is instant habit formation across an entire system that controls human lives.
The U.S. Supreme Court once affirmed prosecutorial immunity in Imbler v. Pachtman. Precedent now says you cannot file a civil suit against a prosecutor. Quote Wikipedia: “Qualified immunity, when applicable, shields government officials from liability for the violation of an individual’s federal constitutional rights.”
Read that over a couple of times and try not to wet yourself. The implications are simply unacceptable to any reasonable human being, and this is not limited to the United States.
This rally was about calling bullshit on the whole mess, and Maine’s primaries are coming up on the 10th, where DA candidates will be evaluated. If you want to get rid of corrupt prosecutors, voting them out is essentially the public’s only option. Bar complaints are also an option, but not a good one because the same lawyers who are in on the game process the complaints. We could debate the effectiveness —or lack thereof— of voting, but I think we can at least agree that any power the public has is power that they should use.
This is especially so if we could lose our rights the moment we walk though a courthouse door.
And remember, our journey to that door starts with but a mere accusation.
You can lose your rights because someone said so. Today.
I’ve written enough. Get mad.

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