Time to leave Bernard Baran alone

Tuesday, May 26
As D.R. Bahlman's column of May 19 and other accounts clearly spell out, the trial of Bernard Baran in 1985 was nothing short of a farce on all levels. Among the numerous blunders that occurred during the trial, the one that comes to mind for me is the apparent false accusations against Baran from a homophobic mother whose child was diagnosed with gonorrhea of the mouth, and whose abuse pointed toward the mother's live-in boyfriend. This is just one of many aspects of an investigation and trial that in retrospect borders on the bizarre, whether one looks at the prosecution, defense (what there was of it) and the overall conduct of the trial.

Justice was not served in this case, and the consequence was 21 years in state prison for Baran. One has to wonder what motivates District Attorney David F. Capeless to consider a retrial or an appeal of a decision by a Superior Court judge, upheld by the Massachusetts Appeals Court, that depicts accusations as essentially groundless and the trial as a shambles.

Perhaps Mr. Capeless is intent upon assuaging the reputation of a prosecution for which the Appeals Court raised the possibility of misconduct. What the latest rulings reveal, however, is that an injustice was perpetuated against Mr. Baran, and it's time he be left alone to live the rest of his life in peace.



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