West Memphis Three
August 19, 2011 by Post Team
On Thursday, Circuit Judge David Laser Craighead County renewed hope that all three can be freed after he called a surprise to the audience Friday morning in Jonesboro, Arkansas reports suggest that all three can be released Friday an “Alford plea” in which the three active claims innocence but will plead guilty in exchange for freedom has been met.
Damien Echols on death row and Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr. are serving life sentences after being convicted in 1994 of killing three 8-year-old Cub Scouts in West Memphis, Arkansas
The gruesome murders, which were described as satanic by police, shocked the small eastern city of Arkansas. But lingering doubts about whether the West Memphis Three were guilty as a result of campaigns by celebrities that men released.
These doubts were strengthened last month when a report on new DNA evidence was presented at the Craighead County Courthouse. He could not link the crimes of the convicted in the killings. An evidentiary hearing was scheduled to begin in December.
Attention in the first trial focused on Mr. Echols, and then 18, wearing black clothes, dyed his hair black, reading vampire books, and listened to heavy metal. The police often about Satanism questioned him.
Two HBO documentaries filmed in the 1990s raised awareness of the case. Metallica rock band allows their music to be used in the movie. Another documentary will premiere this fall.
Since then, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam alternative rock band and actor Johnny Depp have become strong advocates for Echols in particular.
Last year, Mr. Vedder, along with local activists called Arkansas Take Action, organized a “Voices for Justice” concert in Little Rock to raise awareness about the West Memphis Three. Depp appeared with punk legend Patti Smith and the Dixie Chicks singer Natalie Maines.
“Three innocent people are losing years of his life in a wrongful conviction in a crime they did not commit,” Maines said last year at a news conference in Little Rock. “It makes me scared. It could happen to any of us.”
Over the years, Depp and Vedder contributed to legal costs Echols. Vedder has also written songs about Echols and visited him in the corridor of death. Other musicians and actors often have donated autographed instruments and memorabilia auctions to help the cause.
Websites have also served as a portal for partners to communicate with other supporters, generating letter-writing campaigns to the West Memphis Three and politicians in general and to keep a watch in the virtual burning.
“From beginning to end, this is probably the first domestic case to play over the Internet,” said Lisa Fancher, an activist for the West Memphis Three Fund, the Friday before the hearing. “The Internet was the way to mobilize the troops around the world. I do not see how we could be where we are today without the Internet.”
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