West Memphis Trio Set Free, convicted of murder and raping of three, 8 yr olds...

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Joined Mar 23, 2004
These guys were set free yesterday. 
-Three kids were hogtied, raped, and one's penis was found mutilated.
-Three teenagers were convicted.
-After seeing the evidence presented you really question who the hell did it.

This is a shocking revelation and awkward circumstances to the case.

After serving 17 years behind bars for the brutal murder of three children in eastern Arkansas, Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr. and Jason Baldwin -- dubbed the "West Memphis Three" -- have been released from prison.

"They will be free men ... on suspended sentence,†prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington told reporters during a Friday press conference.

"Only time will tell as to whether this was the right decision."

All three men had been imprisoned since 1994, when they were convicted of killing three 8-year-old boys: Stevie Branch, Michael Moore and Christopher Byers.

Prosecutors alleged the trio killed the children in Robin Hood Hills on the morning of May 6, 1993, as part of a satanic ritual. According to police, the boys' bodies were mutilated and left in a ditch. Each had been hogtied with his own shoelaces.

At the time of their arrests, Baldwin was 16. Misskelley was 17, and Echols was 18.

Echols was sentenced to death, Misskelley was sentenced to life imprisonment plus 40 years, and Baldwin was sentenced to life.

DNA testing was not available at the time of the defendants' trials. In 2007, it was found that DNA collected at the crime scene did not match that belonging to any of the three men. In November 2010, the state Supreme Court ruled that all three could present new evidence in court.

A new court date had been set for December, but on Thursday Judge David Laser ordered all three men transported to Jonesboro for today's surprise hearing. In a brief statement released to the press, Laser only said that the hearing was to "take up certain matters pertaining to the cases" of the three defendants.

Experts believe both sides have entered into a complex legal agreement, in which the three men have entered into so-called Alford pleas.

"The plea means that you maintain your innocence but you believe there is a substantial likelihood that a jury will find you guilty so you are pleading guilty per State v. Alford," Anne Bremner, a Seattle attorney and legal analyst, told The Huffington Post. "The effect of the corresponding finding of guilt by the court is the same as with a straight guilty plea."

Such pleas could make it more difficult for the men to sue the state over their imprisonment.

"It's not perfect," Echols said in a press conference following the hearing. "It's not perfect by any means but at least it brings closure to some areas and some aspects."

Echols added that he was "still very much in shock [and] still overwhelmed."

"We can still bring up new evidence; we can still continue the investigations we [have] been doing," said Echols. "We can still try to clear our names. The only difference is now we can do it from the outside instead of having to sit in prison and do it."

After fighting for so many years, Echols said it wasn’t difficult for him to come to the decision to agree to the plea deal.

But Baldwin said he only took the deal to rescue Echols from death row.

"This was not justice," Baldwin said. "In the beginning we told nothing but the truth -- that we were innocent and they sent us to prison for the rest of our lives for it. We had to come here and the only thing the state would do for us is say, 'Hey we will let you go only if you admit guilt,' and that is not justice anyway you look it. They’re not out there trying to find who really murdered those boys, and I did not want to take the deal from the get-go. However, they are trying to kill Damien, and sometimes you just got to bite the gun to save somebody."

When sharing his opinion on the pleas with reporters outside the courtroom this morning. John Mark Byers, the father of one of the children killed in 1993, said he believes Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley are innocent, adding that he is angry with the way the pleas are being handled.

"This is not right, and the people of Arkansas need to stand up and raise hell. ... Just because they admit to this today, it's not over," Byers said.

Since their incarceration, the trio has been the subject of three documentaries, one of which is scheduled to be released in November. The men have also had a long list of celebrity supporters, including the Dixie Chicks, Eddie Vedder, Johnny Depp and Metallica.
 
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Eddie Vedder is an idol of mine, and a couple times when i've seen him or Pearl Jam there has been mention of the WM3. He was trying REALLY hard to get them free, and had contact with them. good to see his hard work go to a "good cause", IF like many think, these guys are innocent.

I will say, these guys got royally *%$$@* by the system, and lost 17 years of their life...i'm sure they will have enough support from the celebs to live a decent life, even with having to accept the Alford plea.
 
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so glad they are finally released.

people dont actually believe these guys are guilty? I am finding a lot articles online filled with dumb comments saying they are killers.

these people are set free, but sicks they will not get any reparations due to their guilty plea.
 
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You have to REALLY force the issue to think those 3 dudes did it.

I know the dad passed a polygraph, but that's my guy right there. He did it, and he had help, in my opinion. He has a history of violence and threats, his wife showed up mysteriously dead a few years after this West Memphis 3 trial, and he was, by his own admission, sexually abused and beaten when he was a kid. Factor in the multiple instances of his mixed stories, and that's my guy.
 
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Heard about this. That case is one of the most F_ up things I've ever heard of. I can't... just... damn. Poor kids RIP
 
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So is the general consensus that they are innocent? What makes people think they are innocent? Not saying they are guilty by any means, but I am just wondering what makes people believe that
 
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Originally Posted by WITNESSkb24

So is the general consensus that they are innocent? What makes people think they are innocent? Not saying they are guilty by any means, but I am just wondering what makes people believe that
because the whole police work and interrogation methods were terrible.

they gave Echols a polygraph and said he failed it, but had no written record of it when asked. They removed the bodies at the time of discovery before the coroner could even get there. The police violated their fifth amendment by pressuring them to confess.

West Memphis PD had no idea what they were doing and there is no reason why they should have been convicted in the first place with that terrible police work.
 
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Originally Posted by AirForce1King

I've never heard of this but I'm about to head over to Wikipedia and do some research. BRB...
They're 2 HBO documentaries, too. 
Called Paradise lost. 
 
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i'm glad that they're free but the state is trying to $$#* them out of their right to sue for wrongful imprisonment
 
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I heard there was some new evidence that puts one of the kid's(not the Byers boy) stepdads at the scene of the crime..Something about fibers from the stepdad's clothes were found in the knots used to tie one of the victims up..
 
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WITNESSkb24:[hr][/hr]So is the general consensus that they are innocent? What makes people think they are innocent? Not saying they are guilty by any means, but I am just wondering what makes people believe that
So much, man.

- there is no record of the 'failed' polygraph given to Echols
- the kid who 'confessed'? He was interrogated by the police for 12 hours... but only the last 45 minutes or so was recorded, and presented to the courtroom.
- examiners reported that were NO mosquito bites on the 3 boys who were convicted of the murders, even though there were mosquito bites on the murdered bodies. The murders were said to have taken place at night, on a river bank.
- there was a bite mark on one of the murderd boys' foreheads, and none of the teeth patterns of the 3 convicted boys match that bite mark

Now, my belief why it was the dad:
- he refused to give a bite sample... and he got dentures shortly after the murders (pretty much all of his bottom teeth)
- his wife was found dead in their home a few years after these murder trials
- he has a police history of violent behaviors and threats
- he was sexually abused and tortured as a kid (I know this doesn't mean he did it. I was severely beaten as a kid and my parents were charged with multiple counts of child abuse/neglect, so I'm not going to sit here and say 'Well that settles it. He was abused, so he's guilty!' BUT... when you throw that in WITH EVERYTHING ELSE, it supports his guilt).
- a hunting knife of his was found in a nearby lake
- he has SOOOOOO many mixed stories. One day he said he got dentures before the murders; the next day he says he got them after. One day he says the hunting knife used to kill the boys was never used before; the next day he says he hunted with it, cut his fingernails/toenails with it, accidentally cut his thumb on it one time.
 
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23ska, I agree with you about that Byers guy..I think he atleast had a hand in it and knows something..Dude was killin' me in P.L. 2..Said he got his teeth knocked out in a bar fight, then said he voluntarily had them removed, and then changed it up again and said that some medication he was taking cause them to decay and thats why they had to be pulled..But the drug he claims to have caused the damage has zero known side effects relating to rotting teeth..Plus dude just always seemed to be too "showy" for my liking..All the other parents were more devastated and didnt really want that much attention from the cameras, as where this Byers guy was always in front of the camera and spouting some nonsense..
 
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wow, just saw this documentary on HBO yesterday... I guess that's why they were playing it
nvm that comment, just noticed the date of the thread
 
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Never heard about this, but if it was true that they did do it, I was about to cheer cause I thought the thread said "West Memphis Trio Set On Fire for murdering and raping of three..."
 
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Originally Posted by 23ska909red02

WITNESSkb24:[hr][/hr]So is the general consensus that they are innocent? What makes people think they are innocent? Not saying they are guilty by any means, but I am just wondering what makes people believe that
So much, man.

- there is no record of the 'failed' polygraph given to Echols
- the kid who 'confessed'? He was interrogated by the police for 12 hours... but only the last 45 minutes or so was recorded, and presented to the courtroom.
- examiners reported that were NO mosquito bites on the 3 boys who were convicted of the murders, even though there were mosquito bites on the murdered bodies. The murders were said to have taken place at night, on a river bank.
- there was a bite mark on one of the murderd boys' foreheads, and none of the teeth patterns of the 3 convicted boys match that bite mark

Now, my belief why it was the dad:
- he refused to give a bite sample... and he got dentures shortly after the murders (pretty much all of his bottom teeth)
- his wife was found dead in their home a few years after these murder trials
- he has a police history of violent behaviors and threats
- he was sexually abused and tortured as a kid (I know this doesn't mean he did it. I was severely beaten as a kid and my parents were charged with multiple counts of child abuse/neglect, so I'm not going to sit here and say 'Well that settles it. He was abused, so he's guilty!' BUT... when you throw that in WITH EVERYTHING ELSE, it supports his guilt).
- a hunting knife of his was found in a nearby lake
- he has SOOOOOO many mixed stories. One day he said he got dentures before the murders; the next day he says he got them after. One day he says the hunting knife used to kill the boys was never used before; the next day he says he hunted with it, cut his fingernails/toenails with it, accidentally cut his thumb on it one time.

Crazy!  I'm going to have to peep those documentaries, never really heard about this case till now
 
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Not sure if mentioned earlier, but there will be a part 3 airing in December (?) chronicling the more current events leading up to their release. As a 3L in law school I found this case to be extremely interesting.
 
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Forgot about this thread.  It still baffles me to this day on who could have done it.  I for one believe that it's closely tied to one of the parents.

-The kids weren't killed at that location for sure, instead they were dumped there.
-It'd take more than one person to round up three 8 year olds or they must have known the killer well enough to trust them.

Makes me sick to know that the killer's are still out there.
 
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Originally Posted by 23ska909red02

WITNESSkb24:[hr][/hr]So is the general consensus that they are innocent? What makes people think they are innocent? Not saying they are guilty by any means, but I am just wondering what makes people believe that
So much, man.

- there is no record of the 'failed' polygraph given to Echols
- the kid who 'confessed'? He was interrogated by the police for 12 hours... but only the last 45 minutes or so was recorded, and presented to the courtroom.
- examiners reported that were NO mosquito bites on the 3 boys who were convicted of the murders, even though there were mosquito bites on the murdered bodies. The murders were said to have taken place at night, on a river bank.
- there was a bite mark on one of the murderd boys' foreheads, and none of the teeth patterns of the 3 convicted boys match that bite mark

Now, my belief why it was the dad:
- he refused to give a bite sample... and he got dentures shortly after the murders (pretty much all of his bottom teeth)
- his wife was found dead in their home a few years after these murder trials
- he has a police history of violent behaviors and threats
- he was sexually abused and tortured as a kid (I know this doesn't mean he did it. I was severely beaten as a kid and my parents were charged with multiple counts of child abuse/neglect, so I'm not going to sit here and say 'Well that settles it. He was abused, so he's guilty!' BUT... when you throw that in WITH EVERYTHING ELSE, it supports his guilt).
- a hunting knife of his was found in a nearby lake
- he has SOOOOOO many mixed stories. One day he said he got dentures before the murders; the next day he says he got them after. One day he says the hunting knife used to kill the boys was never used before; the next day he says he hunted with it, cut his fingernails/toenails with it, accidentally cut his thumb on it one time.

just of this alone, I'll go watch the documentary after the Eagles game.
 
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we are in a day in age now where if the dna dont fit you must acquit.....those dude were robbed of a normal life they should be paid
 
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damn never heard about this story...thanks ska, i also wanted to know more about why they are innocent
 
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Watch Damien Echols' interviews from prison. The man is intelligent and eloquent. The public crucified them for being different rather than for actually committing the crime. They dressed "goth" before goth was popular and the public ate that garbage story of them being "satanic" up.
 

Senoj

formerly adidas freak
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Joined Oct 24, 2006
Don't forget that one of the kids stepdads was a cop and also had ALL of his teeth removed during the investigation or something like that. Dude reeks of guilt.
 
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