Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Truth (West Memphis Three)
Free The West Memphis Three!!!
Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley, and Jason Baldwin
The history - from the WM3.org website:
Shortly after three eight year old boys were found mutilated and murdered in West Memphis, Arkansas, local newspapers stated the killers had been caught. The police assured the public that the three teenagers in custody were definitely responsible for these horrible crimes. Evidence?
The same police officers coerced an error-filled "confession" from Jessie Misskelley Jr., who is mentally handicapped. They subjected him to 12 hours of questioning without counsel or parental consent, audio-taping only two fragments totaling 46 minutes. Jessie recanted it that evening, but it was too late— Misskelley, Jason Baldwin and Damien Echols were all arrested on June 3, 1993, and convicted of murder in early 1994.
Although there was no physical evidence, murder weapon, motive, or connection to the victims, the prosecution pathetically resorted to presenting black hair and clothing, heavy metal t-shirts, and Stephen King novels as proof that the boys were sacrificed in a satanic cult ritual. Unfathomably, Echols was sentenced to death, Baldwin received life without parole, and Misskelley got life plus 40.
For over 14 years, The West Memphis Three have been imprisoned for crimes they didn’t commit. Echols waits in solitary confinement for the lethal injection our tax dollars will pay for. They were all condemned by their poverty, incompetent defense, satanic panic and a rush to judgment.
But there’s still hope for them, and you can help.
West Memphis Three: Time for Truth from Brian Quist on Vimeo.
For more information, watch the HBO documentary Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills which covers the court trials and includes interviews of key people and Paradise Lost 2: Revelations which digs deeper into the innocence of the accused.
Book- The Devil's Knot by Mara Leveritt