Wrongly Convicted Database Record


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Joel Barnes



Drug Related (Possession or sale)


Years Imprisoned:


Year Crime:


Year Convicted:


Year Cleared:


U.S. State or Country of Crime:

New Jersey

County or Region of Crime:


City of Crime:



Judicially Exonerated

Summary of Case:

"Joel Barnes was wrongly convicted of drug charges in 2009 in Camden, New Jersey. With no evidence to support his claim the drugs were planted on him by the police, Barnes pled guilty on February 23, 2009 to avoid a longer sentence if convicted after a trial. While in prison, Barnes read about the FBI investigation of corruption by five Camden City Police Department.officers, and learned that two of the officers being investigated, Antonio Figueroa and Robert Bayard, were involved in his case. Barnes filed a motion for a new trial based on the new evidence of police corruption in his case, and on Feb. 2, 2010, the New Jersey Superior Court vacated Barnes’s conviction. Barnes was freed on June 8, 2010 after serving 418 days in prison. Camden PD Officers Jason Stetser, Kevin Parry and Dan Morris pled guilty in federal court to corruption charges, while Figueroa was convicted by a jury that acquitted Bayard. Barnes was one of the 99 defendants wrongly convicted between 2007 and 2009 of drug charges in Camden, New Jersey based on evidence planting, fabrication of reports and evidence, and perjury by five Camden City police officers to obtain their convictions. Eighty-eight of the defendants who cumulatively spent 109 years in prison shared in the $3.5 million January 2013 settlement of federal civil rights known as the Camden Police Cases. Althouth the Camden County Prosecutors Office has declined to provide specific information about the overturned convictions, because the files are sealed by court order, the names of at least 76 defendants was disclosed in news stories and in documents related to the federal lawsuit. Eleven other unnamed defendants wrongly convicted as a result of the same police corruption sued for malicious prosecution in New Jersey state court and were awarded money damages. At least 171 defendants had their drug convictions dismissed. Four Camden police officers involved in the scandal were convicted of federal criminal charges: Sgt. Dan Morris, Jason Stetser and Kevin Parry pled guilty in 2012 to conspiracy under plea agreements and received sentences that ranged from 8 months to 37 months in federal prison. The fourth officer, Antonio Figueroa, was convicted after a trial of violating the civil rights of suspects, and he was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, which was later reduced to eight years and one month. Figueroa is scheduled to be released on September 16, 2019, after which he will serve three years of supervised release."

Conviction Caused By:

Police corruption/misconduct of fabricating the evidence used to convict the defendant.

Innocence Proved By:

"Conviction vacated based on proof that the evidence against the defendant was fabricated by Camden PD Officers, which was discovered during an FBI investigation of the Camden City Police Department."

Defendant Aided By:

American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey

Compensation Awarded:

Was Perpetrator Identified?

Age When Imprisoned:


Age When Released:




Information Source 1:

"Camden Agrees to Pay $3.5M to Victims of Police Corruption, Press Release, American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, January 10, 2013"

Information Location 1:


Information Source 2:

"Officers accused of planting evidence on drug suspects, Courier Post (Camden, NJ), October 15, 2010"

Information Location 2:


Information Source 3:

"Camden County convictions are vacated after federal corruption probe, AP Story, February 18, 2010"

Information Location 3:


Information Source 4:

"Camden drops charges against 185 people after police misconduct investigation, By Associated Press, NJ.com, March 19, 2010"

Information Location 4:


Information Source 5:

"Jury: Camden not liable for rogue cops, By Jim Walsh, Courier-Post, April 18, 2016"

Information Location 5:


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Innocents Database Created and Maintained by Hans Sherrer innocents@forejustice.org

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