“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.”
Archive for September, 2014
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.”
“Controversial Berkshire County District Capeless received an unexpected, but telling, challenge in last week’s statewide primary election in Massachusetts.”
“Bernard Baran had to fight to get compensation for his wrongful arrest, conviction, and punishment. Others caught up in the wave of convictions and punishments at the time similarly had to seek remedies individually with radically different results and overwhelmingly in the face of opposition from zealous prosecutors.
“Following the Salem Witch Trials, however, the judiciary in Massachusetts accepted the reality that many people had been wrongfully convicted in the trials of 1692.”
A letter to the Berkshire Eagle from Professor Bernard Rosenthal, a leading expert on the Salem witch hunt.
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.
“Still, it’s inaccurate to say that prison killed Bernard Baran. Even healthy people have aneurysms. Rather, prison took his life.
“Similarly, homophobia did not kill Baran — but it was the accomplice holding the gun.”
“I still remember vividly my contracts professor at George Washington University Law School, Max Pock, a conservative politically, slamming down on the podium and insisting vigorously in his Austrian accent, “I tell you I am sure the prisons are full of the ghost of innocent men.” One of those ghosts was Bernard Baran.”
“Editorial Comment: Of course the promoters of this medical voodoo are not backing down. For them, SBS has been their source of livelihood, notoriety, and power.”