Sylvia Barnes photo

Sylvia Barnes


Sylvia Barnes graduated from Morrisville College with an Associate’s Degree in environmental science. She was northeast regional supervisor for a clothing firm for 10 years, then owned and ran a limousine business with her husband. Widowed in 2011, Sylvia lives in Marcy, New York. She is the mother of two daughters and two sons; her son Steven was arrested in 1988 for the rape/murder of a 16-year old girl in Marcy, a crime he did not commit.  He was tried and convicted in June 1989 and sentenced to 25 years to life. Sylvia saw Barry Scheck on the Phil Donahue show in 1994 talking about DNA, and she relentlessly pursued help through whatever channels she could find. After years of letter-writing, working with many different people, and finally securing the help of the Innocence Project, Sylvia was able to see Steve freed and exonerated in November 2008. She devotes her free time to speaking widely about her experiences and supporting other exonerees, and Sylvia is very active in the Innocence Network community.