Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Some Now, More Later in the City of Brotherly Love

The Seattle Times informs us this day that murder charges against William Barnes were filed by the district attorney in the death of Officer Walter Barclay.

What makes this case interesting is that Officer Barclay, a 23 year old rookie cop in Philadelphia, was shot twice by Barnes during the course of a burglary on November 27, 1966.

From that date until his death on August 19 of this year, Officer Barclay was wheelchair bound and endured a life of constant pain and medical problems related to the bullets he'd taken in the line of duty. Ultimately, an infection proved fatal to him and he died. The Bucks County coroner declared the death a homicide.

Barnes was convicted for the shooting and served 15 years for the crime. In total Barnes, a career felon, has spent 48 of his 71 worthless years behind bars at the taxpayers' expense.

The old common law rule of a year and a day was rejected in Pennsylvania back in 1960 in Commonwealth v. Ladd.

It remains to be seen whether the chain of causation can stretch back 40 years or not. We know here in Iowa that the chain of causation reached back six years and more in the tragic case of Jonathan Waller but how elastic that chain is may be decided by the courts of Pennsylvania.
Photo credit Philadelphia P.D.


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