William Barnes will stay behind bars.
His crime? Carrying a cell phone and car keys, in violation of his parole.
Barnes, 76, previously spent 18 years in prison for shooting police officer Walter Barclay in 1966. Barclay died 41 years later, and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office tried to try Barnes again, this time for murder. Barnes was found not guilty– but again, remains behind bars, on unthinkably petty parole violations.
Essentially, the entire corrections system is throwing a hissy fit because the jury didn’t rule in their favor to convict the septuagenarian. And the state of Pennsylvania is backing them up.
Barnes should not be paroled just because a federal judge says his due process has been violated, a lawyer for the state said Tuesday, claiming Barnes is “an unacceptable risk to the community.”
A federal judge this month found that Barnes should be “subjected to no further arbitrariness or vindictiveness.”
“The state may not punish an individual for conduct of which he has been acquitted,” the judge wrote.
Oh yes we can, says Pennsylvania.