Barry Jones Arizona: An Innocent Man Finally Walks Free After 29 Years on Death Row. In a stunning turn of events, Arizona has recently released Barry Jones, a man who had been wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death. After spending 29 long years on death row, Jones has finally been set free. This case highlights the flaws within the criminal justice system and the importance of thoroughly examining evidence to ensure justice is served. In this article, we will delve into the details of Barry Jones’ case, the circumstances that led to his wrongful conviction, and the legal struggles he faced throughout the years.

Barry Jones Arizona
Barry Jones Arizona- Andrew Sowards

Details In Short

  • Name: Barry Jones
  • Age: 64
  • Location: Arizona
  • Crime: He was wrongfully convicted for the fatal assault of Rachel Gray, a 4-year-old child, in 1994.
  • Date of release: June 15, 2023
  • Time of release: Not specified in the article
  • Duration served: 29 years
  • Previous status: Barry Jones was on death row since July 1995.
  • Exoneration: Barry Jones became the first Arizona death row inmate to be released since Debra Milke in 2015 and the fifth exoneration since 2000.
  • Legal team: Barry Jones’ legal team, including federal public defenders, worked on his case for over 20 years.
  • Conviction vacated: In 2018, a federal district court judge ordered that Jones’ convictions be vacated based on compelling medical evidence proving his innocence. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the order.
  • Plea deal: Barry Jones agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder for neglecting to take Rachel Gray to the hospital the night before she died. The plea deal resulted in a sentence of 25 calendar years with credit for time served.
  • Judge’s order: Pima County Superior Court Judge Kyle Bryson issued a court order on June 15, detailing the circumstances of the crime and imposing the sentence.
  • A number of exonerations: Barry Jones’ case marks the 12th time an inmate on Arizona’s death row has been exonerated since 1975.
  • Remaining inmates on Arizona’s death row: 110 people.
  • Legal struggles: Arizona’s capital punishment system has faced legal challenges, including recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings leading to the reconsideration of other death sentences.
  • Mother’s conviction: Rachel Gray’s mother, Angela Gray, was convicted of child abuse for failure to obtain medical care for her daughter.
  • Support for Barry Jones: Retired investigator Andrew Sowards, who worked on Jones’ case, launched a GoFundMe page to support Jones after his release.
  • Arizona’s execution protocols: Gov. Katie Hobbs commissioned a review of the state’s execution protocols, leading to the postponement of executions.

The Wrongful Conviction of Barry Jones, Arizona

Barry Jones, now 64 years old, was sentenced to death in 1995 for the alleged fatal assault of 4-year-old Rachel Gray. However, recent developments and compelling medical evidence have proven his innocence. Jones had been incarcerated on death row since July 1995, enduring a grueling and unjust imprisonment.

Barry Jones Arizona
Barry Jones Arizona

Jones’s legal team, led by federal public defender Cary Sandman, fought tirelessly for over two decades to secure his release. In 2018, a federal district court judge ordered the vacation of Jones’ convictions, citing the overwhelming medical evidence that pointed away from his guilt. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals subsequently affirmed this decision. However, the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to review the case despite clear evidence of Jones’ wrongful conviction prolonged his stay on death row.

Arizona’s Reevaluation and Vacating the Sentence

Despite the Supreme Court’s decision, the state of Arizona undertook a review of the new evidence presented in Jones’ case. After careful consideration, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office agreed that Jones’ conviction and death sentence should be vacated. Consequently, the Pima County Superior Court was asked to vacate both the conviction and the death sentence, leading to Jones’ eventual release.

As part of the resolution, Barry Jones agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder. The plea deal acknowledged that Jones had neglected to seek medical care for Rachel Gray, who tragically died from an unknown fatal injury. Pima County Superior Court Judge Kyle Bryson imposed a sentence of 25 calendar years with credit for time served, making Jones eligible for immediate release. The Arizona Department of Corrections, Reentry, and Rehabilitation promptly released him from custody.

Legal Struggles in Arizona’s Capital Punishment System

Barry Jones’ exoneration serves as a significant blow to Arizona’s capital punishment system. In recent years, several U.S. Supreme Court rulings have forced the state to reevaluate death sentences and have resulted in the exoneration of multiple inmates on death row. Arizona’s history of disregarding U.S. Supreme Court precedents has raised concerns about the fairness and integrity of its capital cases. Experts suggest that up to 30 capital case defendants may be eligible for resentencing hearings due to these issues.


The release of Barry Jones after 29 years on Arizona’s death row brings both relief and renewed scrutiny to the criminal justice system. Jones’ wrongful conviction and subsequent release highlight the need for comprehensive investigations, fair trials, and a commitment to justice. While his release is a step in the right direction, it is essential to continue working toward a more equitable and reliable justice system that upholds the principles of truth and fairness. The case of Barry Jones will forever serve as a reminder of the consequences of wrongful convictions and the importance of safeguarding justice for all.

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