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OfflineThebooedocksaint
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The West Memphis 3: Finally free but with no justice.
    #579402 - 08/19/11 04:59 PM (5 years, 3 months ago)

Find the real article here.

Quote:

Jonesboro, Arkansas (CNN) -- Three men who served 18 years in prison over a 1993 triple-slaying in West Memphis, Arkansas, walked free Friday to cheers from a supportive crowd outside the courthouse after entering new pleas in the case.

"I want to be out. I deserve to be out," said Jason Baldwin, who along with Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelley Jr. and Jason Baldwin were freed after entering rarely used pleas in which they maintained their innocence but acknowledged that prosecutors have evidence to convict them.

Echols and Baldwin entered what is known as an Alford plea on three counts of first degree murder. Misskelly similarly pleaded to one court of first degree murder and two counts of second degree murder.

Craighead County Circuit Judge David Laser sentenced the three to their 18 years already served, and imposed a 10-year suspended sentence -- meaning they could be returned to jail if they violate the law.

"I don't think that it will make the pain go away to the victim familes. I don't think it will make the pain go away to the defendant families," Laser said, saying it was nevertheless the best for all involved.

Echols was previously sentenced to death and Misskelley and Baldwin were given life sentences in the May 1993 slayings of second-graders Steven Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore.

The boys' bodies were mutilated and left in a ditch, hogtied with their own shoelaces. Prosecutors argued that the men convicted, teenagers at the time, were driven by satanic ritual and that Echols had been the ringleader.

Critics of the case against the men argued that no direct evidence tied the three to the murders and that a knife recovered from a lake near the home of one of the men could not have caused the boys' wounds. More recent DNA testing also demonstrated no links, according the mens' supporters.

Echols said after his release that he was "very much in shock, very overwhelmed."

"I'm just completely and absolutely exhausted," he said.

Baldwin said he didn't initially want to accept the deal.

"This was not justice," he said, adding that he dropped his opposition to pave the way for Echols' release from death row.

"He had it so much worse than I had it," Baldwin said of Echols. "It's just insufferable to put a person through that."

While Ellington said the pleas entered Friday validate the decision of jurors who sent the men to prison, it also spares Arkansas the possibility of a retrial that would have been difficult to prosecute after so many years. The trio was likely to win the right to new trials later this year.

"This is an appropriate resolution to this case at this time," Ellington told reporters. "Only time will tell as to whether this was a right decision on my part."

Echols said in a news conference after his release Friday that he will continue to work to clear his name as a free man.

The case drew national attention, with actor Johnny Depp and singers Eddie Vedder and Natalie Maines trying to rally support for the men's release. Vedder and Maines were at the courthouse on Friday.

John Mark Byers, whose son Christopher Byers was one of the three victims, said he believes the three men are innocent and said releasing them without exonerating them of the crime is an outrage.

"They're innocent. They did not kill my son," Byers said before the hearing.

The father of another of the victims, Steven Branch, also blasted the decision, but for another reason.

"I don't know what kind of deal they worked up," Steve Branch told CNN affiliate WMC-TV before the hearing. "Now you can get some movie stars and a little bit of money behind you and you can walk free for killing somebody."

But Jessie Misskelly Sr. said he was happy that his son would be getting out of prison.

"I thought it might be some kind of publicity stund. I can't believe it but it's real," he told WMC.

The three men were seeking a retrial in the case, and a hearing had been scheduled for a new trial. The state Supreme Court ruled in November that the three men could present new evidence to the trial court after DNA testing between 2005 and 2007 failed to link the men to the crime.

The material included hair from a ligature used to bind Moore and a hair recovered from a tree stump near where the bodies were found, Arksansas Supreme Court documents said.

The hair found in the ligature was consistent with Branch's stepfather, Terry Hobbs, while the hair found on the tree stump was consistent with the DNA of a friend of Hobbs, according to the documents.

Police have never considered Hobbs a suspect, and he maintains that he had nothing to do with the murders.




The real murderers? Free. The three Innocent boys/men? Unable to sue Arkansas from the terms of their release.

No justice for the murdered kids, and no justice for the 3 framed by police and prosecutors that served time for it.


--------------------
"To say that nothing is true, is to realize that the foundations of society are fragile, and that we must be the shepherds of our own civilization. To say that everything is permitted, is to understand that we are the architects of our actions, and that we must live with their consequences, whether glorious or tragic."

"Je pense, donc je suis (I am thinking, therefore I am)." -Rene Descartes

I am tired of Earth
I am tired of these people


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OfflineSteve Buscemi

Registered: 11/15/08
Posts: 2,167
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Re: The West Memphis 3: Finally free but with no justice. [Re: Thebooedocksaint]
    #579417 - 08/19/11 07:57 PM (5 years, 3 months ago)

Wow I just watched Paradise Lost again last year and wondered if they'd be making a new one anytime soon......... I think they need to make a 3rd to wrap it up. I thought they were innocent since I watched the first doc on hbo in the 90s as a kid, and then when I watched the sequel as a teen it just made me mad they were still in prison. I remember when Trey Parker yelled out Free The WM3 at whatever awards show that was and it will always stick with me.


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OfflineThebooedocksaint
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Registered: 05/11/09
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Re: The West Memphis 3: Finally free but with no justice. [Re: Steve Buscemi]
    #579433 - 08/19/11 10:29 PM (5 years, 3 months ago)

Yea, shit's fucked up.

I find it ironic they got convicted with so little evidence, and Casey Anthony didn't with a fair amount of evidence. If anyone reading this thinks she was innocent don't flame me because i don't give a shit because i know there isn't shit we can do now. But I'm fairly certain she killed her daughter from the evidence i heard. I honestly don't get how it wasn't at the very least a hung jury.


--------------------
"To say that nothing is true, is to realize that the foundations of society are fragile, and that we must be the shepherds of our own civilization. To say that everything is permitted, is to understand that we are the architects of our actions, and that we must live with their consequences, whether glorious or tragic."

"Je pense, donc je suis (I am thinking, therefore I am)." -Rene Descartes

I am tired of Earth
I am tired of these people


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OfflineDungenessDank
Lord of the Flies


Registered: 05/06/08
Posts: 9,372
Loc: PNW
Last seen: 3 years, 6 months
Re: The West Memphis 3: Finally free but with no justice. [Re: Thebooedocksaint]
    #579530 - 08/20/11 09:09 AM (5 years, 3 months ago)

This injustice was a product of the bible belt. Murder? Obviously these atheist kids did it.


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Invisiblemhbound
Ballin out at all cost
Male User Gallery Arcade Champion: Pingu Slap


Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 8,142
Loc: High
Re: The West Memphis 3: Finally free but with no justice. [Re: DungenessDank]
    #580213 - 08/22/11 08:03 PM (5 years, 3 months ago)

Edit: oops...miswronged


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Suck my balls America


Edited by mhbound (08/22/11 08:04 PM)


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OfflineSteve Buscemi

Registered: 11/15/08
Posts: 2,167
Last seen: 4 years, 3 months
Re: The West Memphis 3: Finally free but with no justice. [Re: DungenessDank]
    #581229 - 08/26/11 07:26 PM (5 years, 3 months ago)

I'm re-watching both paradise lost on demand right now and damn I dont know what to think anymore.


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