September 7th, 2011
On Sunday, September 4, 2011, the Boston Globe profiled NEIP exoneree Dennis Maher. Maher was convicted of two separate attacks on women in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1984 and another in Ayer, Massachusetts. He received a life sentence for the attacks and was convinced he would spend the rest of his life in prison. While he was in prison, he had to participate in a treatment program for sex offenders at the Massachusetts Treatment Center. Part of the treatment program was to create a “release plan,” a hypothetical plan that details how the inmate would re-integrate into society after release. Maher’s plan was to get released from prison on the basis of DNA evidence, take two months to readjust to society, meet a woman, get married, have children and buy a house.
Today, Maher is living his dream. He was exonerated 8 years ago through DNA evidence. He is happily married with two children. Despite the dearth of programs and services available to exonerees after their release from prison, Maher has thrived since his exoneration. He routinely speaks about the factors contributing to wrongful convictions and shares his own story. Perhaps most amazing is his ability to move on with his life and not become paralyzed with anger. As Maher puts it, “I got over losing the 19 years of my life. I don’t try and make up for it because I can’t. The best that I can do is just go forward. Don’t hold the anger. I can’t be an angry miserable person around [my kids].” Dennis has a six-year-old son, Joshua, and a five-year-old daughter, Aliza, who is named after the attorney who worked on his case and helped set him free.
Read the article here.
Read more about Dennis here.