Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Case of Bernard Baran

I remember reading about Bernard Baran years ago.  He was wrongly accused of molestation while working as a teacher's aide back in the '80s mainly because parents learned that he was gay and stories were fabricated to "get" him.  He spent 21 years in prison.

Juxtapose this case against that of the man claiming "homosexual panic" and self-defense in the alleged murder of  Marco McMillian, a mayoral candidate in Clarksdale, Mississippi, a state without a hate crimes law.  This guy may actually get no jail time if the jury is sympathetic to his alleged victimization (he claims McMillian was coming on to him sexually) by a gay man.

In both cases the gay man is assumed guilty of a crime.  The more things change, the more things stay the same.


  1. It's hard to believe that states like that still exist isn't it?

  2. I remember hearing about that case at the time - 21 years for a crime he didn't commit? How very very sad, to say the least. What a horribly cruel injustice.

    But once again it shows the power of prejudice - in the South, black men were routinely deemed guilty by virtue of their race for many decades - perhaps even now.

    And down into my childhood, the penalty for rape in these parts was death - so you have to wonder how many black men were executed under false convictions. White men, of course, were rarely convicted of capital rape.

  3. But of course, Mississippi must also prosecute heterosexual men who make unwanted advances to women forcing them to murder those men. Or perhaps that doesn't happen very often...



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