West Memphis 3 Released
August 19, 2011 by USA Post
West Memphis 3 Released, After almost two decades behind bars, the “West Memphis 3? Have been released from prison. Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr. and Jason Baldwin were arrested in 1993 for the murder of three boys, Stevie Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore. Echols was sentenced to death, while Misskelley and Baldwin received life sentences.
Case management by police and prosecutors has been a lot of scrutiny, and brought to light in both the HBO documentaries Paradise Lost and Paradise Lost 2, and a detailed book by journalist Mara Leveritt knot called Diablo.
At that time, but retracted Misskelley confessed later, his attorney argued that the confession was coerced and that police had pressured Misskelley due to their low IQ.
All three have maintained their innocence and freedom has become a cause celebre, being supported by websites, legal defense funds, and celebrity involvement.
It is due to different legal disputes and other evidence that has emerged since the state made to free the three, and the suspension of their sentences to avoid more lawsuits and appeals. Lawyers for the three had filed two motions – one of the misconduct of the jury, and the other asking the court to review the latest results of DNA tests that exonerated the men say.
In a rare legal maneuver, the three men maintained their innocence, but pleaded guilty and acknowledged that prosecutors had the evidence to convict them.
Echols, 36, Baldwin, 34, and Misskelley, 36, is processed and released on Friday afternoon. Provided they do not get into trouble for criminals, who remain free. Otherwise, they could face an additional 21 years in prison.
The prosecutor said he considered the matter closed and not pursue any other suspects in the killings. He said he “hoped and prayed” that the three men had been “rehabilitated” in his 18 years in prison. The plea agreement also protects the status of any litigation of wrongful imprisonment.
A hearing was announced on Friday surprise, and one of the victims’ parents, Steve Branch, confirmed to reporters that the hearing will involve the release of at least two of the three.
The father of Jessie Misskelley KAIT-8 said he was disappointed his son had to plead guilty for his release.
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