Barnes Verdict Expected Today

February 1, 2013

Hayden Barnes (right) and Robert Corn-Revere (left)

A verdict in Barnes v. Zaccari is expected today. The jury began deliberations yesterday afternoon. The Valdosta Daily Times (Ga.) has more from inside the courtroom proceedings, highlighting Bob Corn-Revere’s argument on behalf of former Valdosta State University student Hayden Barnes, who was expelled for peacefully protesting the planned construction of campus parking garages:

[Former Valdosta State University President Ronald] Zaccari was looking for any route he could find to dismiss Barnes, according to Corn-Revere, although no one, including the university police chief, found any information about Barnes that would classify the junior transfer as a threat.

"When Dr. Zaccari testified, he said Barnes was under-performing and doesn’t know why he was ever admitted to the university," said Corn-Revere. "Why would Dr. Zaccari know that much about a single student. It’s because he wanted a way to get rid of this particular student and had been spending large amounts of time analyzing Hayden’s background and surveilling him.


When Barnes’ grades began improving, Zaccari looked for other ways to get rid of him and began focusing on the e-mails and the political cartoon, said Corn-Revere. And on a day deemed the 911 of university systems, Barnes and Zaccari held a meeting to discuss the parking deck, stated Corn-Revere.

"It’s absurd for the defense to use the Virginia Tech shooting as a reason for Dr. Zaccari’s action," said Corn-Revere after turning to lock eyes with Zaccari. "That’s like using the victims of that tragedy as a human shield here in court. Don’t let this man get away with that." 

Of course, stay tuned to The Torch for the verdict and our analysis as soon as it happens.

Schools:  Valdosta State University

Cases:  Valdosta State University: Freedom of Expression on Campus Limited to Unconstitutional Free Speech Zone