Note: This is a fictionalized legal case for Bucky Barnes (The Winter Soldier). I’m not a lawyer, nor do I have any professional law experience. I’m not going to make any judgments myself, just show you the facts and the cases that each side would make.

The People v. Bucky Barnes

District Court for the District of Columbia

READ: Check out our review of CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR

Legal Question: Should James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes be held accountable for illegal acts (murder, espionage) that occurred during his time as Hydra’s Winter Soldier?

bucky barnes

Facts Presented Before the Court

  • In the 1930’s, James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes lived with Steven Grant Rogers (Captain America) in Brooklyn, New York.
  • During this time, Barnes was Rogers’ protector and best friend, defending him from bullies and minding his health.
  • Barnes enlisted in the U.S. military and later deployed to Germany, where he served on the front lines.
  • Rogers, in this time, underwent the procedure that made him Captain America. After touring the U.S., he was sent to Germany to help the morale of the troops.
  • There, he learned of Bucky’s capture by Johann Schmidt, the Red Skull.
  • Rogers, accompanied by friends – ‘The Howling Commandos’ – went on a risky mission to rescue Barnes.
  • Upon finding Barnes in a German military base, which would later reveal itself under the control of Hydra, Rogers was able to escape with Barnes. It became clear that Barnes was suffering from amnesia.
  • Rogers, Barnes, and the rest of the Commandos went after the Red Skull. Barnes fell from a train during this mission, after helping Rogers defeat several Hydra agents, and was presumed deceased. Rogers went on to crash Schmidt’s plane into the Atlantic.
  • A few years ago, in 2014, Rogers had been working with S.H.I.E.L.D when word of the Winter Soldier’s reappearance spread through DC – Rogers eventually confronted the Soldier and discovered that it was Barnes, who had no memory of the last 70 years.
  • Barnes had been slowly regaining some of his pre-war memories, up until the time of his capture. He now can recognize Rogers and remember moments from his own childhood.
  • Barnes is accused of committing assassinations of several top officials during his time as the Winter Soldier, including the assassination of John F. Kennedy, though he has no recognition of this event.
  • Barnes admitted to the murders of Howard and Maria Stark, as well as many others.
  • Barnes confesses that he cannot remember to making a voluntary choice to commit these crimes; however, he does admit that he “remembers all of them.”

bucky barnes


READ: See what CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR gets wrong about the characters! 

The legal team prosecuting Mr. Barnes on behalf of the state believes that, regardless of mental status at the time, Barnes did indeed commit the assassinations in question during his time as the Winter Soldier and therefore deserves a harsh prosecution. Since Barnes claims he can remember each of these killings, we cannot assume he experienced a psychotic break. Barnes is responsible. It is a dangerous precedent to excuse the defendant for his crimes.

In addition to these assassinations, Barnes is also responsible for the destruction of Washington D.C. in 2014, leading to deaths and damages that cost the Capitol an upwards of $3 billion dollars to repair. This destruction created chaos in the streets, as well as the demolition of multiple federal buildings.

READ: Interested in character relationships, like the bond between Steve Rogers and Bucky? Check out our article on character relationships!

bucky barnes


Bucky Barnes is an innocent man. The Winter Soldier is guilty. They are two different people, with two different mental states. Barnes fell from a train during World War II and Hydra, the Nazi science division, captured him. Hydra then started their work creating the ultimate weapon – a super soldier who carried out their every wish. Using a modified version of the serum used on Captain America, and years of brainwashing,  Hydra managed to turn Bucky Barnes into their weapon.

Barnes is a rescued prisoner of war. Psychologists worked with him to crack Hydra’s complex system of orders and retrieve the pieces of his past. Do not persecute James Barnes for the mental and physical torture that he endured for 75 years — allow him the opportunity to heal.

READ: Need a refresher? Read our recap of CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER


With that information, ladies and gentlemen of the jury – take your time, make your decision, and then return to this room when you’re ready to give your opinion before the court.

bucky barnes

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