The panel that's looking into the Lewiston mass shooting now has more power to gather the information they need in their mission.

What Prompted the Establishment of the Panel?

Robert Card walked into two Lewiston businesses and opened fire the night of October 25, 2023, killing 18 people and wounding 13 others, before taking his own life while police searched for him. In the days that followed, questions were raised about whether police and/or mental health workers had missed important warning signs. Friends and former coworkers said they talked to law enforcement about his potential for violence and their fear that he might snap.

Why Do They Need Subpoena Power?

So Governor Janet Mills established the Independent Commission to Investigate the Facts of the Tragedy in Lewiston, which is charged with determining the facts around the shootings, from the months preceding the incident through the police response. But, in recent weeks, the seven panelists have expressed frustration over the resistance their inquiry has met, including refusals of requested documents and resistance to interviews.

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When Does It Take Effect?

On Tuesday, the Governor signed into law bipartisan legislation immediately granting the power of subpoena to the commission, allowing them access to those documents and the ability to compel witness testimony.

I thank the Legislature for working with the Attorney General and me to deliver the Independent Commission the authority it needs to conduct a thorough examination of the facts surrounding the tragedy in Lewiston.

Because the legislation earned the two-thirds support required from each chamber to be enacted as an emergency measure, the law took effect immediately with the Governor's signature.

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