“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.”
Archive for October, 2014
“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.