“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 ever 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.”
Discussing newly obtained DNA test results, Tom Fedor, a forensic expert retained by the defense, said, “None of the DNA evidence connects any of the defendants to the scene of the crime.” However, DNA tests could not rule out the stepfather of one of the victims as the source of a hair found in the knots binding the victims, he said. Also, DNA tests could not rule out a friend of the stepfather as the source of a hair found on a tree stump at the scene of the crime, Fedor said. The friend was with the boy’s stepfather on the day of the killings, he said. ”
Defense attorneys discuss new evidence in West Memphis child killings-