Dennis Maher isn’t the kind of guy who typically wears rings. He’s a diesel mechanic for waste management; if he were to wear them, he might lose a finger. He doesn’t even wear his wedding band.
In the past year or so, though, when he’s asked to talk at a university or to attend a reception, he’ll slip a 28-gram sterling silver ring on his right hand. The word “exoneree” is engraved on its face. People will ask him questions about it and, if they don’t already know, he’ll have to tell them how he spent 19 years, two months, and 29 days in prison for violent sex crimes that he didn’t commit. He was exonerated, and became a free man on April 3rd, 2003, one of the thousands of men and women who have been wrongfully convicted in this country.
Maher, who is 57 and lives in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, …