Where does Barton go from here? A message from Bart himself March 15, 2024 following Judge Yoder’s February ruling denying Barton a New Trial in McLean County

A message from Barton…

Greetings friends, family, injustice opponents, and other interested parties;

Hopefully in answer to all of your questions regarding where our innocence advocacy appeals go from here now that Judge Yoder denied our petition for a new trial after dismissing as being out of hand all of the newly discovered evidence, here’s the scoop to the best of my understanding.

My representation by the saintly attorneys with the Illinois Innocence Project and Exoneration Project will continue to the furthest reaches of the appeal process, beginning next with the Springfield-based Illinois 4th District Appellate Court, having already formally filed a Notice of Appeal.

Before my attorneys can file our LEGAL BRIEF with the Appellate Court, a formal Record on Appeal needs to be produced by the McLean County Circuit Clerk and its several court stenographers.

A stack of pages likely two feet thick, the Record on Appeal constitutes all the court transcripts numbering several thousand pages to include all hearings and the trial itself, along with all other court-related documents, spanning the 25-year ongoing life of the case. The official court record will of course be comprised of records regarding more recent court events of the past few years, of which will be the predominant subject of our upcoming effort in the 4th Appellate Court.

Were I not indigent I’d have to foot the bill of $7,000 or so in Circuit Clerk fees just in order to have the official above Record On Appeal produced. Lacking any funds of my own to speak of these prohibitive fees will be waived.

An appeal is expected to be filed in the next 60-90 days. This is then followed by the McLean County prosecutor’s rebuttal that might take several more months before their filing takes place. The appeals process in the 4th is expected to take 18-24 months from now. It will be before 3 judges with most everything done in writing at this level with the brief limited to just 50 pages. If there are oral arguments heard, each party is afforded just 20 minutes. At 24 months, this would take me to the Spring of 2026.

If my appeal to the 4th is unsuccessful, then the next rung on the ladder is taking my appeal to the Illinois State Supreme Court (a panel of 7 judges), the highest court in Illinois. If they deny hearing my case (they take fewer than 5%), or rule against me, then and only then can my appeal be brought before the Federal courts that my constitutional rights were denied.

One year to wrongfully convict, 25-years and counting to correct. And still no justice for my daughter Christina. Thanks to all who have reached out to me and will in the future providing me their words of encouragement. – B

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