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A low bar for public defense

Maine is the only state in the country with no public defender system. A nine-month investigation by The Maine Monitor and ProPublica found that legal services for the poor are left to private attorneys, who face disproportionately high amounts of discipline and an office that doesn’t supervise them.

Defenseless in Maine

She was afraid of her lawyer. Then the text messages started.

Leah Kerwin began receiving daily texts and videos explicitly requesting sex. They came from her court-appointed attorney, who had already been suspended for other misconduct. When she spoke up, the situation got worse.

Susan Collins Sarah Gideon Jared Golden Dale Crafts

How record sums of money have shaped Maine’s 2020 elections

The Maine Monitor investigated campaign finance trends in this year’s state and federal races. Here are our top findings.

The Latest

The Wonderful Life of Bob Bahre

Steve Graiver walked to the message board in front of his small business and carefully arranged the letters to spell out four heartfelt words: Thanks for the memories. The message had nothing to do with the pandemic and Graiver’s struggle to keep Steve’s Country Store...

For Bob Bahre, collecting classic cars never got old

PARIS HILL – Sandy Bahre’s apprehension quickly gave way to terror that day some 45 years ago in New Jersey’s bleak pine barrens. A gaunt man with stringy long hair was walking from his house, which was more tar paper than clapboards. He held an axe in both hands,...

Driving seemed inescapable until it wasn’t

Editor’s Note: The Maine Climate Council is in the process of refining draft strategies into a Climate Action Plan due to the Legislature on Dec. 1. Throughout the fall, Sea Change columns are covering related topics – in this case, how Maine can lower vehicular...

Top Stories

Playing God with public health

Playing God with public health

Seven weeks after officiating the now infamous East Millinocket wedding that has resulted in the deaths of eight Maine residents, Sanford pastor Todd Bell continues to defy state and local orders aimed at controlling the spread of COVID-19.

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Projects

Defenseless

An investigation by The Maine Monitor and ProPublica found that more than a quarter of Maine attorneys disciplined in the past decade for serious professional misconduct were hired as lawyers for the poor. Sex crimes and felony convictions were among the most severe infractions overlooked in the only state without public defenders. Defendants paid the price.

Susan Collins Sarah Gideon Jared Golden Dale Crafts

Follow the Money

Mainers are facing a historic congressional election season in 2020. Examine how campaign fundraising and spending are shaping the races for Maine’s federal and state offices using The Maine Monitor’s interactive campaign finance trackers. 

Other Projects

The Last Responders

Along with provoking a pandemic, COVID-19 has triggered a grief epidemic. It has robbed families of final goodbyes, left loved ones to die with strangers, postponed wakes and funerals. And it has overwhelmed Maine’s “Last Responders,” priests, chaplains, funeral directors and hospice workers who must work around restrictions aimed at diminishing virus infections.

2020: A Class Dismissed

The Maine Monitor spoke to seniors from high schools across the state to tell the story of Maine’s Class of 2020 and how these soon-to-be graduates are dealing with the unexpected developments that come with a pandemic and a disrupted senior year.

Due Process: Inside Maine’s County Courthouses

The Maine Monitor examines Maine’s criminal justice system at a time when there’s appetite for major change. Our series looks at the system – successes and failures – to test whether defendants and victims can rely on it to give them due process.

Help Wanted: The Immigrant Opportunity

Given that Maine is racing into an economic crisis because it doesn’t have enough workers for its jobs, we decided to examine the role immigrants could have in helping to solve Maine’s serious workforce needs.

Born to Drugs

Nearly 5,000 babies have been born affected by drugs in Maine in the past five years. These innocent victims are caught in a crisis that is marked by suffering and strained hospitals and state resources.

Video

Chasing Maine: The Astronomer

For astronomy instructor and northern Maine planetarium director Larry Berz, the study of space is an existential science. Recognizing our small role in the scheme of the universe is humbling and can evoke compassion in our daily lives.

Chasing Maine: The Harvesters

Chasing Maine: The Harvesters

Chasing Maine is a biweekly video series that explores Maine from a distinct visual perspective. Join veteran Maine journalist and storyteller Roger McCord as he chases the people, places and things that define the unique character of the Pine Tree State.

Chasing Maine: The Messenger

Chasing Maine: The Messenger

Chasing Maine is a biweekly video series that explores Maine from a distinct visual perspective. Join veteran Maine journalist and storyteller Roger McCord as he chases the people, places and things that define the unique character of the Pine Tree State.

Chasing Maine: The Goat Farm

Chasing Maine: The Goat Farm

To learn more about Sunflower Farm Creamery, visit its website and YouTube channel. Chasing Maine is a biweekly video series that explores Maine from a distinct visual perspective. Join veteran Maine journalist and storyteller Roger McCord as he chases the people,...

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