Bernard Clark Duse, Jr, the 76-year-old assistant manager of a CVS store, was in his pajamas working on the computer in his home office when his wife arrived home on the evening of July 26, 2017. He then went up to bed while his wife watched TV in the living room. The next day, he learned that his manager had been murdered in the store parking lot sometime after 10:00 p.m. on the 26 th. A week later the police arrested Bernard for the murder. A major eye-witness had described the murderer as a white guy who knelt down and moved the body. Bernard is gingerbread brown. He recently had hip replacement and heart surgeries, and these medical procedures continue to restrict his movements. Bernard is not "white," and he neither had the strength nor the mobility to move the body. In spite of these facts, Bernard was convicted of murder. He was sentenced to life. This is death in prison for someone his age.
With nothing but circumstantial evidence, the prosecution spuriously alleged that because Bernard had filed an age-discrimination civil suit against CVS for denying his promotion, he must have had a grudge against his store manager. Furthermore, inflammatory media facilitated the ambitions of aggressive prosecutors, who used peremptory challenges to seat an all-white jury. Playing on white Virginians’ racial fear just one year after white supremacists rallied in Charlottesville, prosecutors won a guilty verdict from the all-white jurors in August of 2018.
The main image for this campaign shows Bernard with Double Rainbows and a Red Tail Hawk. Double rainbows give us reason to pause and admire spiritual beauty and strength. The Red Tail Hawk inspires higher visions, knowledge, and wisdom. These are characteristics that are manifest in Bernard. Bernard is no murderer; he is a calm, anti-violent role model with a contagious moral compass. As a man of vision and wisdom, he models reverence and respect for others. Throughout Bernard’s long career as an educated, progressive African American role model, he has patiently used civil and nonviolent means to challenge discrimination and to secure the rights for which Martin Luther King, Jr. died.
Bernard’s family exhausted their financial resources defending him at trial. They are struggling still and going deeper into debt while paying related costs. Now they must appeal and pay ongoing expenses as well as costs required for the appeal.
For more information please see the video interview "Justice for Uncle Bernard" at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lHl_VdFMKM&list=UUQL378Qzu1u54BbrkeCmGCQ