News 11.24.08

Twenty Years Later

Innocence Project client Steven Barnes is expected to be released from prison November 25 after serving nearly two decades for a rape and murder that he has always maintained he didn’t commit. The Innocence Project and the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office issued this joint statement on November 24:

“Later today, we will ask a judge to schedule a hearing no later than Tuesday morning on a joint motion to vacate Steven Barnes’ conviction based on new DNA test results. We anticipate that the court will vacate Barnes’ conviction and release him from custody on Tuesday.

“For several years, the Innocence Project and District Attorney’s Office have cooperated to conduct DNA testing that could resolve Steven Barnes’ longstanding claim of innocence. Test results were recently obtained on material collected from the victim’s body and clothing, and those results do not match Barnes. The Innocence Project believes that these DNA results support Barnes’ claim of innocence, and the District Attorney’s Office agrees that the new DNA evidence warrants vacating Barnes’ conviction. We are asking a judge to vacate his conviction and release him, but the indictment against him will not be dismissed while additional investigation is conducted to identify the actual perpetrator(s) in this case. The Innocence Project and the District Attorney’s Office will cooperate on the continuing investigation.”

Read more about the case here:

Utica Observer-Dispatch:

Will Barnes be freed?

Associated Press:

Inmate Convicted of 1985 murder returning to court

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