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August 17, 2012
Honestly, we all lived through this horrible time in our own way and got through it differently, so now I guess we all have a different way of healing.
Jason Baldwin of the West Memphis Three • Discussing his life and the life of his two friends, one year after being released from prison. Baldwin, Jessie Misskelley and Damien Echols went to prison in 1993, convicted of murdering three young boys on weak evidence, and got out last year as part of a deal that allowed them to proclaim their innocence while pleading guilty. Since then, their lives have taken dramatic — albeit separate — turns, with various film projects and books projects being made around their lives and the difficult circumstances that put them in prison for nearly two decades. Nobody knows who killed the three boys on that day — but it most likely wasn’t them.
22:42 // 2 years ago
August 19, 2011
Although I am innocent, this plea is in my best interest.
Jessie Miskelley Jr., one of the West Memphis Three • Explaining why he essentially pleaded guilty to get out of jail. It’s believed that the prosecution would’ve had enough evidence to convict them, so the plea deal was in their best interest — but none of the three seem to be happy about having to plead guilty to be free. As a condition of the plea deal, the trial will remain on probation for ten years, and if they re-offend they’ll have to go to prison for another ten years. So what do you think — was justice served? source (via • follow)
16:53 // 3 years ago
When these guys went to jail, “the Black Album” was still on the Billboard charts and Henry Rollins was a constant fixture on MTV. Since then, the plight of Jessie Misskelley Jr., Damien Echols and Jason Baldwin — three teens convicted in the murders of three eight-year-old boys — has transfixed many, to the point that both Metallica (who lent a song to a documentary about their plight) and Henry Rollins (who made a tribute album to them) have come to their defense. They call them the West Memphis Three, and the evidence that sent them to jail is apparently shaky enough that they might see release on Friday, seventeen years later. Some highlights of the case:
- The situation Three young boys —Stevie Branch, Michael Moore, and Christopher Byers — went missing and were later found murdered in a small Arkansas town. The suspects were arrested and tried on evidence many analysts consider weak, including a recanted confession by Misskelley. Echols received the death penalty; the others got life sentences.
- The doubters Over the years, allegations of police mismanagement of the case, as well as evidence of other suspects whose stories were investigated poorly by police have led to doubters amongst legal experts, amongst family members of victims, and amongst celebrities like Rollins. For years, many local residents still remained convinced.
- The unraveling After new DNA evidence came out in 2007, more family members of victims expressed their doubts. On Thursday, things finally came to a head. The three men may see release through a legal maneuver called the Alford plea, in which they claim innocence but admit that the state had enough evidence to convict them. source
» Too little, too late? Some remain unconvinced that the state is acting in a way that respects the wishes of either the victims or the three men still sitting in jail this evening. “There’s certainly no justice for the three men that’s been in prison or my son and his two friends,” said John Mark Byers, the adoptive father of one of the victims. “To me, this is just a cop-out from the state for not wanting to admit that they made a mistake.”
1:47 // 3 years ago