In June of 2012, the following letter written by Dennis’s childhood friend Dan McLaughlin appeared in the Bangor Daily News.)
Bangor Daily News, June 20, 2012
This summer I am vacationing in Maine. I am particularly anxious and incensed this time, as Dennis Dechaine gets his hearing to review DNA evidence from Sarah Cherry. Dennis’ integrity is obvious, due to the wide support for and visibility of his case. I want as many people as possible to know him, and believe we all need Dennis on the outside, healing, contributing to our society, and standing as a beacon of hope for innocent convicts.
Dennis and I began our friendship during childhood. We met again in 1979 when we attended Western Washington University together. Dennis was an avid bicyclist, hiker, explorer, forager and gardener. He was also the person I trusted the most when I needed advice or comfort. Dennis is a true gentleman … and was best man at my wedding.
Maine’s pristine beauty is astonishing. Folks are friendly and relaxed. My Acadian and Scotch-Irish roots are there. I always visit Dennis on my way through. He is still the same; a bright and enthusiastic communicator and spiritual soul … but a treasure locked away. Under the current Maine state judicial system, there have been serious mistakes made in the handling of Dennis’ case and blatant disregard of the consequences. Whenever I read the national news, I am reminded of this pervasive approach by those in power to exercise and maintain that power at the expense of the innocent. It is perceivable that this manipulative ploy to save face is as heinous as the crime itself.