Tuesday, October 30, 2007

West Memphis 3 On the Way to Freedom?

Almost fifteen years ago, three Arkansas teens were ridiculously convicted of sacrificing three small boys in a supposed Satanic ritual, mostly on the basis of a wrangled confession from one of the three defendants (who happened to be a retarded drug user) and also the testimony from supposed ringleader Damien Echols, who was far too smart for his own good and naive enough to believe that telling the truth would ring right with the court. The documentary "Paradise Lost" basically portrays the case as the epitome of justice miscarried. It's tragic that these three guys ended up either in jail for life or on death row with no evidence supporting the conviction and with all signs pointing to the trial as an ad hoc witch hunt.

Well, the wheels of justice turn slowly, but sometimes they do make it all the way around. It's just been reported that DNA evidence doesn't show that the three defendants were even present at the scene, and that the alleged Satanic mutilation was actually the work of animals. And now one of the murdered boys stepfathers - surprise surprise, though not the stepfather some suspected - has been circumstantially implicated thanks to those same DNA tests.

Of course the prosecutors are sticking by the case. But the case is running away from them. I once spoke with the filmmakers behind "Paradise Lost," and they were hopeful something like this would happen. That was over a year ago. Maybe by this time next year all this nonsense will be over and done with and the backwoods morons responsible for railroading these three finally hone up to the extent of their mistakes.


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