This Sunday at 2:00 p.m. EDT Eric Tennen, one of Bernard Baran’s attorneys, will be discussing the case on Worcester radio stations WCRN.
You can listen to the program by following this link.
Without the tireless efforts of the National Center for Reason and Justice, Bernard Baran would have died unknown and without exoneration in prison. We rely on your help to continue our work. Please consider making a donation
From WBUR in Boston:
“Looking back at the case would serve a bigger purpose than score-settling. Wrongful convictions like that of Baran endanger trust in the whole judicial system. The Supreme Judicial Court, in its role as the general safeguard of the integrity of the courts, should launch a special inquiry into how justice failed during the hysteria of the 1980s. It must also look at why the Berkshire County district attorney was able to conceal the tapes for so long after the trial, even claiming the tapes were lost. (The tapes only surfaced after Downing died.) That’s also a question that the next state attorney general may want to ask, while also moving to finally expunge Baran’s criminal record.”
“Yet as Baran was reportedly getting repeatedly sexually assaulted in prison, Downing was getting reelected and Ford was getting promoted. Just a few years after Baran’s conviction, Ford was appointed to the Massachusetts Superior Court, where he presides over criminal cases. He has also served on a committee that determines state rules for criminal procedure. As Silverglate points out, not only has Ford never been disciplined, he has never been publicly investigated, nor has the state considered the reforms that could cut down on future wrongful convictions.”
“Convicted amidst the national panic over supposed sexual abuse of preschool children, Baran fell victim to homophobia, hysteria, and arguable prosecutorial misconduct. While many now recognize these prosecutions as modern-day witch hunts, those responsible for his incarceration remain unapologetic and unpunished.”
I suspect the reason the transcript supporting Judge Ford’s version wasn’t turned over to the Appeals Court is that it doesn’t exist.
While Bernie was not a materialistic person, he always loved his footwear, especially bright, eye catching, sneakers. He would always keep all his footwear in tip top condition and could make a 5 year old pair of white sneakers look like they just came out of the box!
So the family invites all to wear their favorite sneakers to Bee’s memorial services on October 11th.
We also invite all to attend a candlelight vigil, immediately following the reception, by the Christian Science Monitor’s Reflecting pool, as this was one of Bee’s most beloved locations in Boston.
I remember Bee coming to the visiting room in those spotless sneakers.
Here again is the information about the Memorial.
Just a reminder. The Memorial Service for Bernard Baran will take place in Boston on October 11, 2014, at 3 p.m. A reception will follow the service. The location is the Staffordshire Room at the Hotel Westin Copley Place. All day parking is available for $30.
All who love justice are welcome to attend. And I hope as many as possible will attend. Please bring friends who need to know what happened to Bernard Baran and help make his legacy a more just world.
“Through all he endured, Bernard Baran remained a courageous, intelligent, funny, loving, curious, quick-witted, giving, nurturing, and intuitive human being who’s loss will be felt by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.”
My partner, Jim D’Entremont, posted this on Facebook today:
“Bernard Baran of Pittsfield MA died suddenly on September 1, little more than five years after having been cleared of false child abuse charges that had resulted in 21 years of wrongful imprisonment. Throughout his ordeal, Baran had the steadfast support of his family. His stepfather, Stanley Sumner, was among his most passionate defenders. Yesterday, 17 days after Bernard’s death, Stan also died suddenly, of an apparent heart attack, while visiting relatives in Florida. This is an especially cruel blow to Baran’s mother, Bertha Shaw, who is already bearing a terrible burden of grief. This photo of Bertha (“Bert”) and Stan was taken at a happy gathering in June 2009, celebrating Bernie’s resounding Appeals Court victory and the subsequent dropping of all charges.”
We are completely floored by this terrible double tragedy. Bert is insistent, however, that planning for the October 11th memorial service continue.
“Baran was not truly vindicated when he died. Not in the eyes of the law, represented here by the Democrats’ foul hope for governor, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley. Coakley had a chance, in 2007, to acknowledge the state’s grievous wrong against Baran, call off the local prosecutor’s effort to throw him back behind bars, and grant compensation. Instead, Baran endured years of waiting until 2009, when a court again ruled for him; and years of lacerating negotiations for compensation before Coakley conceded a pittance for his twenty-three lost years. She refused to expunge his record, forcing him to seek redress again from the courts, which would have broken him.”