We heard that the number of unsolved murders or cold cases is as high as 120 or more. On average 20 to 25 homicides occur annually, with about 90 percent resulting in arrests. That other 10 percent of homicides that go without arrests, without a trial, without an opportunity to hold someone accountable, without details of what exactly happened, is inexcusable and I for one am embarrassed as a state elected official that it’s been allowed to happen under our watch.
What troubles me even more are the individuals that haven’t been brought to justice. A major role of government is the protection of it’s citizens. To enforce our laws to keep some semblance of order in our society. This is a huge public safety emergency. We have allowed murders to roam our streets. We’re more concerned about someone going 10 miles over the speed limit on the Interstate than we are with protecting the public from dangerous individuals.
We can’t wait around for the Federal government to act either. We need to step up and put our money where our mouth is. The amount of taxpayer dollars we are talking about is around $500,000. This money goes towards two state police detectives, a forensic chemist, and other costs related to creating a cold-case homicide unit. That may seem like a lot of money, but its not in the bigger scheme of things of a $6 billion+ budget. Just give me 10 minutes and a red pen, I’ll find you that money. It is worth every cent, to protect the innocent and seek justice for the ruthless and cowardice killings of Maine people.
I plead with this committee, don’t just vote based on emotional pleas, but see this is a logical initiative to improve efficiency in state government, effectiveness in our criminal justice system, and safety for Maine people.
Rep. Justin Chenette
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