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Thread: Damien Echols and Memphis 3 Acquitted

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    Damien Echols and Memphis 3 Acquitted

    If their names sound familiar, you may have seen the documentary called, “Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills."

    I remember one of my friends thought they were innocent. I never really paid much attention to the documentary or the books myself, but I find this all to be interesting.

    I was wondering if anybody else here paid attention to the trial and had any opinion on this. Other opinions are welcome too. I found the following article is to be very interesting.

    Apparently Eddie Vedder and some of the Dixie Chicks were there to support the release of these three men as well.

    After nearly two decades in prison for the murder of three young boys, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr., commonly known as the West Memphis Three, stood up in a courtroom here on Friday, proclaimed their innocence and, minutes later, walked out as free men.

    The freeing of Mr. Echols, 36, was the highest-profile release of a death row inmate in recent memory. Mr. Baldwin, 34, and Mr. Misskelley, 36, had been serving life sentences.
    snip

    The grotesque nature of the murders, coming in the midst of a nationwide panic about satanic cult activity, led investigators from the West Memphis Police Department to focus on Mr. Echols, a troubled yet gifted teenager who wore all black and considered himself a Wiccan. Efforts to learn more about him through a woman cooperating with the police led to Mr. Misskelley, an acquaintance of Mr. Echols’s who has an I.Q. in the low 70s.

    After a nearly 12-hour police interrogation, Mr. Misskelley confessed to the murders and implicated Mr. Echols and Mr. Baldwin, though his confession diverged in significant details, like the time of the murders, with the facts known by the police.

    Mr. Misskelley later recanted, but on the strength of that confession he was convicted in February 1994.
    I don't know much about the Wiccan religion, but I know it's not the same as satanism. Reading the article on, it says they were convicted mainly on witness testimony that they were heard around town bragging about the murders, which is pretty weak evidence. In fact, they had no real evidence linking them to the murders and for some reason Damien was given the death penalty.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/20/us...ewanted=1&_r=1

    Thoughts???
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    Re: Damien Echols and Memphis 3 Acquitted



    I noticed all the people clapping and cheering upon their release... I think only one of the victim's parents still think they are guilty. I found that photo to be very noteworthy.

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    Re: Damien Echols and Memphis 3 Acquitted

    This is also interesting to note. Some of the parent's of victims started to doubt the guilt of the Memphis Three, and then new DNA evidence emerged. The DNA did not fit the Memphis Three.

    Last November, the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that there was enough evidence to call a hearing to determine whether to have a new trial. The hearing was scheduled for this coming December.

    But it was less than three weeks ago that lawyers representing Mr. Echols began working on a deal to offer to prosecutors that would free the men.

    Under the seemingly contradictory deal, Judge David Laser vacated the previous convictions, including the capital murder convictions for Mr. Echols and Mr. Baldwin. After doing so, he ordered a new trial, something the prosecutors agreed to if the men would enter so-called Alford guilty pleas. These pleas allow people to maintain their innocence and admit frankly that they are pleading guilty because they consider it in their best interest.

    The three men did just that, standing in court and quietly proclaiming their innocence but at the same time pleading guilty to charges of first- and second-degree murder. The judge then sentenced them to 18 years and 78 days, the amount of time they had served, and also levied a suspended sentence of 10 years.

    The district prosecuting attorney, Scott Ellington, said afterward that the state still considered the men guilty. But he acknowledged they would probably be acquitted if a new trial were held, and he expressed concern that if the men were exonerated at the trial, they could sue the state, possibly for millions of dollars.

    Despite the new DNA evidence, Mr. Ellington declared the case closed, a necessary — if, to some, troubling — stance if the state is to continue to hold that the right men were convicted.
    That sounds like legal mischief to me...

    What kind of judge tells people that he personally thinks they are guilty BEFORE giving them a fair trail? The state's Supreme Court ruled they should get a second trial in light of the new DNA evidence... the judge still has them plea guilty and refuses to investigate the new evidence?

    I'd be pissed. I am glad I don't live in that jurisdiction, and I think that judge should lose his office for that crap. The judge doesn't appear to want actual justice for those little boys killed.

    Ohh, and he still made them plea guilty instead of clearing their names and acquitting them, because he didn't want the state to be sued. WTF....

    These three guys have their names ruined, a criminal record, and three young boys that were murdered nearly 18 years ago may never get justice. wtf, just wtf.

    This just doesn't seem right or look right. I didn't pay attention to the entire trial or watch the documentaries, read the books, etc. but I know this is fishy.
    Last edited by SheWolf; 08-19-11 at 06:18 PM.

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    Re: Damien Echols and Memphis 3 Acquitted

    Quote Originally Posted by SheWolf View Post
    If their names sound familiar, you may have seen the documentary called, “Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills."

    I remember one of my friends thought they were innocent. I never really paid much attention to the documentary or the books myself, but I find this all to be interesting.

    I was wondering if anybody else here paid attention to the trial and had any opinion on this. Other opinions are welcome too. I found the following article is to be very interesting.

    Apparently Eddie Vedder and some of the Dixie Chicks were there to support the release of these three men as well.



    snip



    I don't know much about the Wiccan religion, but I know it's not the same as satanism. Reading the article on, it says they were convicted mainly on witness testimony that they were heard around town bragging about the murders, which is pretty weak evidence. In fact, they had no real evidence linking them to the murders and for some reason Damien was given the death penalty.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/20/us...ewanted=1&_r=1

    Thoughts???
    Opinions???
    I believe I seen a documentary on HBO many years ago. I believed they were innocent.I remember the defense lawyer bringing up the fact that the cuts on the victims required precise cuts and prosecution accused the 3 of doing this in the middle of the night in the woods. Its good to see that they are finally released.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

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    Re: Damien Echols and Memphis 3 Acquitted

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    I believe I seen a documentary on HBO many years ago. I believed they were innocent.I remember the defense lawyer bringing up the fact that the cuts on the victims required precise cuts and prosecution accused the 3 of doing this in the middle of the night in the woods. Its good to see that they are finally released.

    18 years in prison, and the judge made them plea guilty twice... their names are not cleared. It's a small town, and it makes me wonder if the judge is actually protecting the truly guilty.

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    Re: Damien Echols and Memphis 3 Acquitted

    I can't believe they gave Damien the death penalty on such a sketchy trial... I am glad he is free because he definitely should not have gotten death based on that evidence.

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    Re: Damien Echols and Memphis 3 Acquitted

    yeah, they're weren't acquitted. They were released though.
    I may be wrong.

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    Re: Damien Echols and Memphis 3 Acquitted

    finally the WM3 have been released.

    my heart goes out to the families of the children killed. parents of two of the boys are on record saying they believe the WM3 are innocent. DNA evidence points pretty strongly to the real killer, so where is the closure for them? I dont know how one ever would find closure with regard to the death of a child, especially with regard to the murder of a child, but the fact is a killer(s) remains out there. i hope that one day their real killers will be brought to justice.

    Lorri Davis, thank you. such an amazing woman. she never gave up.
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    Re: Damien Echols and Memphis 3 Acquitted

    Quote Originally Posted by Serenity View Post
    finally the WM3 have been released.

    my heart goes out to the families of the children killed. parents of two of the boys are on record saying they believe the WM3 are innocent. DNA evidence points pretty strongly to the real killer, so where is the closure for them? I dont know how one ever would find closure with regard to the death of a child, especially with regard to the murder of a child, but the fact is a killer(s) remains out there. i hope that one day their real killers will be brought to justice.

    Lorri Davis, thank you. such an amazing woman. she never gave up.
    That's the question of the century... why won't the judge go after the real criminal or even try? Why did he make them plead guilty again before releasing them?

    It makes me wonder if the judge is protecting somebody... it's a small town afterall...

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    Re: Damien Echols and Memphis 3 Acquitted

    interview with the WM3 after release granted


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