Deja Vu: Same Case, New Charge
A man who served 20 years for shooting a Philadelphia police officer has now been charged with homicide in the same 40-year-old case.
William J. Barnes, 71, was charged Sunday after his victim, Walter T. Barclay, 64, died last month of an infection. His family says he was paralyzed, unable to walk and suffered infection after infection after the Nov. 27, 1966 shooting, and Barclay’s death was ruled a homicide because it was hastened by the shooting, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Although Barnes can legally be charged a second time in the same crime, because the charge is different, a Temple University criminal justice expert says he thinks the case presents a “moral double jeopardy” issue and hence is unlikely to win a conviction. “He did 20 years on that shooting. Not to absolve him—it was a horrendous act that he did,” says Allen Hornblum, who corresponded with Barnes while he was in prison. “But to charge him with murder is a bit of a stretch.”