Edward Ray Barton Case Overturned On Appeal – Existence of Illegal Files in Cache Only not ‘Possession’

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Edward Ray Barton is a very lucky man. You may recall that we reported that Barton was convicted of possession of child pornography after investigators had found child pornography files on his hard drive.

As we reported then, “files from websites you visit can be downloaded and stored on your hard drive without you even realizing it. Often, for example, they often end up in a Temporary Internet Files folder. Now, imagine that you accidentally ended up at a pornography site which caters to people who like younger “models”. And even though you left even more quickly than you got there, those graphics files ended up in your hard drive, in that Temporary Internet Files folder. Now, it may or may not have been by accident, and we may never know, but that is exactly what happened to Edward Ray Barton.”

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Edward Ray Barton Case Overturned On Appeal – Existence of Illegal Files in Cache Only not ‘Possession’

As a result, Barton was convicted of possession of child pornography, even though the State’s own case was clear that the files had existed only in his temporary files (i.e. his cache).


 

As a result, Barton was sentenced to twenty years in prison.

This month, however, a Georgia appeals court overturned Barton’s conviction. The bottom line, according to the Court, was that in order to be guilty of “possession” of child pornography, you have to ..you know.. actually know that you have it (and intend to have it).

Said the Court, “There was no way that Barton could have learned of the cache files in the normal course of using his computer. Nor did the state present any circumstantial evidence that would have allowed the jury to infer Barton’s knowledge of these files, i.e. they did not show that Barton was an experienced or sophisticated computer user who would have been aware of this automatic storage process.”


 

Now, this was a state appeals court, so this decision does not set any binding precedents. However, it will certainly be used to inform other, similar cases.

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Edward Ray Barton Case Overturned On Appeal – Existence of Illegal Files in Cache Only not ‘Possession’

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6 Replies to “Edward Ray Barton Case Overturned On Appeal – Existence of Illegal Files in Cache Only not ‘Possession’”

  1. I was at his trial sitting up in the balcony. His ex-wife Katrina was the one who has had dominion and control over the computer. she stated this as fact under oath as evidence in the transcripts. she also knew exactly what was on and in the computer. would Mr. Barton not hide the computer so Ms. Barton would not know ? (it was a knote book computer) yet she was the one to forcefully push it onto the detectives. While He was out doing his military duties for our country. In court all of the evidence pointed directly to Katrina knowingly possessing as well as having complete control of the computer. Mr. Edward Barton his only crime was having his name entered onto the computer software when you first register the computer to operate it. Now his life as well as his military retirement, I’m sure is ruined. Because Ms. Barton made false accusations and knowingly put those images on the computer as evidence points to.
    where is justice in Ga. when the innocent gets his life ruined and the guilty Ms. Barton get away with ( in my mind ) MURDER.

  2. <<>>

    With all due respect (and the word should be “precedent”), this is inaccurate. This case is binding on the lower courts in the circuit or district in which the case was decided.

  3. He knew what he was doing who are we kidding? He is just getting off on a technicality.

  4. are there anymore cases like this? my boyfriend is going through the EXACT same thing right now. he is looking at 10 years for “possesion” of child porn. it was an accidental download from lime wire and he deleted it, or so he thought. he thought it was gone.

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