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The release of the "West Memphis Three" came after a complex and confusing plea deal, in which the men--Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Misskelley--pleaded guilty and were sentenced to the 18 years they've already served. They're allowed to maintain their innocence, while officially acknowledging that prosecutors have enough evidence to convict them.
In 1993, three 8-year-old boys from West Memphis, Ark.--Christopher Byers, Steven Branch and James Michael Moore--were found naked, beaten, and hogtied in a drainage ditch. The victims had been sexually abused, and one had been partially castrated.
Prosecutors argued the murders were part of a satanic ritual. Echols, 19 at the time, was cast as the ringleader, and given the death penalty. Baldwin and Misskelley, then 16 and 17 respectively, were given life in prison plus 40 years. A confession to police by Misskelley, who is mentally challenged, was retracted within days and not admitted at trial.
The men had almost no money to pay for a legal defense at the time, one of their lawyers said today.
But the men have always maintained their innocence. And a defense motion at today's hearing concerned DNA testing results that allegedly excluded all three men from the crime.
read the rest
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/wes … 29722.html
basically ,they were railroaded because they were poor and had no high priced lawyer.
if it weren't for Johnny Depp and Russell Crow and other high profile celebrities pleading for a re examination of DNA evidence they were be put to death..It's scary to think about
I believe someone posted last week that celebrities had no right having a voice in such things.
Here it is:
That is a great thing. I didn't know about this case before. This is one reason I am against the death penalty.
I usually search before posting and didn't see this story
I think celebrities can use their notoriety for good ,,as long as they are not being self promotional.
They may very well have saved three lives..so I'm happy they intervened.
Stacie: I think it is interesting how two people can read the same news story and draw two different conclusions. I agree that these innocent men were railroaded, and it is good they are now free and that the one who was on deathrow wasn't killed. I got into a pretty heated debate with another hubber who read this same story and was angry that these men were released, her reading of the story led her to believe that three men viciously murdered those boys and were now getting away with it.
It wasn't Brenda whom I was referring to.
yes but the deal that had to make was unheard of until now; they had to plead "guilty" in order for the state to save face and release them.
I watched the interview and couldn't believe it.
The trial was a farce and everyone should be glad that DNA is now a standard tool.
the Alford Plea was only done like you said so that the Prosecution could save face and so that the state was sued for false imprisonment.
The "nail -on-the-head!" I am from Arkansas and have been tired of the news for over a decade on this story. DNA shows them not guilty. State does not want to look stupid, so the men have to plead guilty to avoid State looking bad. No TV or Book deal (which would show State in bad light).
The Real Killer/Killers got away with it since these young men were railroaded.
I read that the people instrumental in getting these three out are going to use the money left over to pursue whomever killed those boys. I sure hope that they do since the state won't. If I had the kind of resources necessary to fund an investigation I would be there in a heart beat. The victims deserve nothing less then that.
A friend said she wasn't going to go see The Hobbit movie because the biggest contributor to their defense fund was Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh!
I think they are heroes!!!!
She said if she was not guilty she would not have signed the papers. It took 4 years to get a retrial after DNA excluded them. I would have given them anything to get out of jail, especially solitary confinement!
It became obvious that the police and DA were not going to admit they were wrong.
Even the parents of the victims were angry when all the facts came out. They felt the real killer was running free. They know it is going to be next to impossible to get a conviction now that the three have pleaded guilty.
American 'justice' as we loosely call it in this country! Let's see, oh yes, OJ comes to mind. Now, the Real killers? I suppose They (real killers) have been unleashed onto American society for all these years. Police and investigators, they Always send people 'back into burning buildings' deeming those buildings as 'safe.' Anyone understand yet that most police forces are the REAL menace to society? Wishing to pin a conviction on Anyone for political gain mostly, they Must look like they Can solve Something, and Really wanting justice and to find the Real criminals, well, big gulf there!
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