From a Fellow Inmate
[I was moved by this letter from one of Bee's fellow inmates, which he asked to have placed on the web site. While "Dave" got Bee's permission to write to us, Bee suggested that Dave not show him the letter, because Bee wanted Dave to feel free to say whatever he wanted.]
30 Administration Road
Bridgewater MA 02324
July 31, 2003
My name is Dave. I am a convicted sex offender. I would like to take a few moments of your time to express to you my experiences of Bernard “Bee” Baran.
I have known Bee for roughly fourteen years. Almost immediately I felt there was something very different about him compared to many of the other men that are incarcerated here. He just does not fit in.
I have been incarcerated for the past 21 years. I have seen many men cone and many men go. I have known many men to profess their innocence. Their stories would all end up falling apart either by their being caught up in their own web of lies or by the incongruence of their actions. The thing is, out of all those men there have been only two men who have touched me in a profound way. I believe 100 percent that a great injustice has been perpetrated upon both of them. The first man is Bee. The second man is Dennis Maher. Dennis has just recently been released after serving over eighteen long years. He was proven innocent by DNA testing.
Sex offenders have many deep-rooted unresolved issues. They are so obvious, and it is right at the surface. You will see the rage, entitlement issues, little impulse control, lack of sympathy and empathy towards others as well as many other maladaptive behaviors. I don’t see any of those traits in Bee and Dennis. I have seen nothing but kindness and compassion pour out of them. They have helped me and many others a lot into becoming better men.
As I think of Bee as I write this I want to cry. I am crying! I see a good man who has been forced to endure tremendous amounts of sadness every day. I miss my family and freedom daily. I know what it feels like to lose them. To be innocent and to lose them is so hard to comprehend. He is a victim of the Criminal Injustice system. Not only Bee but also his family, who have been robbed of his presence in their everyday lives. My heart goes out to them.
I see Bee as a person with great inner strength. His deep unwavering love for his family and the letters that he receives from his supporters give him hope and some happiness. They help him to arise and to face another day in a place where he does not belong.
What astonished me, as the guilty-as-charged man that I am, is that I have more avenues of release and more institutional privileges than an innocent man.
I guess I was naïve to believe that everyone had learned a lesson from the Salem Witch Trials. In this day and age, prejudiced views should not cause the persecution of innocent people. I think of the prosecutor and other tyrannical powers that be. Are their egos so fragile that they can not admit that they were wrong? Why do they keep putting up roadblock after roadblock and using various delay tactics to exhaust all of the money in his defense fund, robbing him of the means to fight the injustice? I don’t know how they can sleep at night. Or do they? Why are they so afraid that the truth might come out and right their wrongs?
When I saw my friend Dennis released and appearing at a news conference, I was overwhelmed with happiness. It was bittersweet though, because my friend Bee still sits here. I pray for the day that I can see him have his own news conference, surrounded by his loved ones, and a free man!
[Note: Dave was released from prison on March 28, 2006. He continues to be a major part of Bee's support system, writing him almost daily and sending him photographs of the outside world. David has also been a guest in our home. He is a very fine youg man and my partner Jim and I feel privileged to know him.]