05/14/2020

Urgent Action: Man Claiming Innocence Faces Execution (USA: UA 80.20)


Walter Barton’s execution is scheduled for 19 May 2020. He is on death row in Missouri, USA since 2006 in connection with the 1991 murder of a woman, for which he maintains his innocence. He faced five trials over 15 years before being convicted and sentenced to death. Expert opinion and evidence, never heard by a trial jury, counter key elements of the prosecution’s theory which led to Barton’s conviction. The 19 May execution would be the first in the USA since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. Governor Parson can grant Barton’s request for clemency, halting the execution.

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Michael L. Parson
Missouri State Governor
P.O. Box 720
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Phone: (573) 751-3222
Fax: (573) 751-1495
Webform: https://governor.mo.gov/contact-us
Twitter: @GovParsonMO
Facebook: @GovMikeParson

Dear Governor Michael Parson,

Walter Barton faces execution on 19 May. He was convicted for a 1991 murder following five trials – the first two trials were declared “mistrials” and two separate subsequent convictions were overturned on appeal for prosecutorial misconduct.

Walter Barton maintains his innocence. Expert testimony never heard by a trial jury refutes the prosecution’s expert witness’ analysis of the blood on Barton’s clothes, confirming Barton’s explanation – evidence that would have been “compelling” to three trial jurors’ recent affidavits. Other evidence, undermining the credibility of a key witness, a jailhouse informant, was never presented at trial.

The death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights. Since 1973, 167 people have been exonerated from US death rows on innocence grounds.

Walter Barton’s execution would be the first in the USA since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. I urge you to grant him clemency.

Yours sincerely,

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