Greg Roach's Berkshires Blog
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
  Tough for all the wrong reasons
DA Capeless has got to know that this case would never ever stick in a modern courtroom. It was tried at the height of pre-school molestation hysteria and we now know that the techniques the police and their surrogates used were highly questionable when it came to little kids.

In the recent past Mr. Capeless has been quoted saying that one of the alleged victims (proper terminology since the verdict was thrown out) is asking him to keep pursuing Baran. I guess I can see why Capeless won't let go, but he's got to know that he is wasting money and resources on a case that probably never should have been brought in the first place.
This case is a real dilemma to me. On the one hand I hope, and I know this will sound odd, that Mr. Baran is guilty beyond a doubt because I would hate for someone to have spent the last 22 years of his life behind bars falsely accused.

On the other hand, I read an article the Eagle did maybe a year or so ago and the way it was presented it sound if the above is exactly what happened.

If my child gave me reason to believe something like this went on, I would want the full and unending resources of the State. However, the defendant needs to have a competent and fair trial.

At this point, I would have to say its time for the DA to let it go. If Baran is guilty, he paid 22 years of his life. If he isn't, the State owes him more than could possibly be paid back.

I hope that Leonard Conway was disbarred, its people like him that give lawyers the bad name they have.
I wonder if Capeless tried to make a "time served with supervision" plea deal after the court tossed the verdict. If he didn't and he's simply going for the whole shi-bang for some other reason, he is not serving the county well.
I did a lot of reporting on this issue and others involving the molestation hysteria in Berkshire County in my early days at the Transcript and I've interviewed Baran's lawyer and his advocate, as well as others involved. Capeless and Downing before him relied on some very, very sloppy evidence and "experts" that rely on psychological theories since discounted in the wider legal field. I imagine if they admit they were wrong and that he was wrongfully convicted, there will be hell to pay legally and they don't want that. It takes only the smallest amount of internet research to find plenty of documentation disputing the DA's case against Baran.

It's a waste of everyone's time.

I could try and dig up an article somewhere.
i'm not a big fan of diddlers...and i think john has hit the nail on the head....there is a good possibility hysteria played the part of evedince in this the time this went down the state was also dealing with the fells acres case...and we see what happened there...i aplaud the da, and his predecessor, for there desire to protect kids that may have been harmed but with what is known now i think it's time to let this one the time this case came about the berkshires were nationaly recognized as an area that had an extremly high rate of child abuse...couple that with faulty procedure and a poor gay guy and you have a slam dunk case...but either way when an accusation is made by a child that they were sexually abused it needs to be investigated...too bad this kind of attention wasn't directed toward the abuse perpetrated by the catholic church in western have a priest that was the main suspect and you have a da that swept the case...this one needs to be shelved, take the loss and apply resouces elswhere....

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