Herman with his aunt, Dr.Lindamichelle Baron at the African American Museum of Hempstead at the Long Island Link's event
Commutation of Herman Baron, III Federal Prison Sentence
From his Aunt, Dr. Lindamichelle Baron
I’d love for the world to know that my nephew, Herman, is my heart. I have no children from my womb, so my brother’s son became the closest thing to my own child. He was also the first and only grandchild on both sides of the family until he was a teen. And he was and is loved beyond measure by all of us. Although, his mother and father didn’t marry, we were, are, and will always be family. He was raised by his loving mother and father and all of us.
Herman’s immediate family includes: a pastor, correction, parole officer, city and state police officer/detective, military serviceman, and a doctor of education, all of whom were dedicated to his upbringing. Ultimately, the streets were more compelling than the strong foundation upon which he was raised. He was eventually incarcerated, and given a “mandatory” sentence of 20 years in Federal Prison.
Herman’s transformation began into his 2nd year of incarceration, after he received the sentence. He revisited his life and who he was and what he wanted out of life. Out of his reflections emerged the Herman Baron, III who we celebrate today. He aligned himself with the most positive individuals in the institution. He became an artist, a poet, and a workshop leader. In fact, the education coordinator for one of the institutions met us when we arrived to visit him, saying she had to meet us, “We must be so proud of him.” We are.
What we didn’t know was how his positive trajectory lead him to be eligible for and ultimately receive a commuted sentence from President Barak Obama. Herman’s mission is to make us all proud, his family, fellow inmates, and the president who believed in him. But more important is his desire to keep other young people from yielding to the temptations of quick money on streets that can devour you. I believe his message can override the compelling street noise. His honesty; his capacity to connect the realities of his life’s journey to that of young and old audiences; and his insightful, inspirational passion, can make the difference.