Posted in music on August 19, 2011

West Memphis Three

The 18-year ordeal of the so-called West Memphis Three ended today in an Arkansas courtroom after a judge accepted a plea deal to set them free.

The three men will be allowed to maintain their innocence while acknowledging that prosecutors have enough evidence to convict them, according to the Associated Press.

It is a legal maneuver that would allow the men to leave prison for the first time in more than a dozen years. They have always maintained their innocence.

As far as Prosecutor Scott Ellington is concerned, he said, "the case is closed," despite his firm belief that the West Memphis Three are guilty.

"I have no reason to believe that there was anyone else involved in the homicide of those three children," other than those three defendants, he said.

Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr. were convicted in the 1993 deaths of three 8-year-old boys from West Memphis, Ark. -[ABC NEWS]

The trio is currently addressing the media, and will soon be free men. Eddie Vedder is at the press conference and gave gave Damien Echols a huge hug.

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Comments (48)

i remember that west memphis 3 comp from years back...first time i really heard about the story.

what is the evidence that says these 3 are innocent exactly?

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 1:46 PM

"...acknowledging that prosecutors have enough evidence to convict them..." - that's legal talk for "you can't sue the state for falsely keeping you in jail illegally for the past 12 years"

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 1:47 PM

This is amazing and wonderful news! But the hick fuckers in that West Memphis district need to pay and pay big for this. I've heard they had to admit guilt and waive any rights to future legal action.

That is outrageous and the public needs to stay vigilant until the bastards who did this are held accountable.

But still. HELL YEA!

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 1:47 PM

FIRST

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 1:48 PM

From the AP story.

"In upholding Echols' conviction in 1996, the state Supreme Court noted that two people testified Echols bragged about the killings, an eyewitness put Echols at the scene, fibers similar to the boys' clothing were found in Echols' home, a knife was found in a pond behind Baldwin's home, Echols' interest in the occult and his telling police that he understood the boys had been mutilated before officers had released such details."

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 1:49 PM

"This week in murder"

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 1:49 PM

Well finally justice long overdue!!! But this plea is a sham and the prosecutor is a dick head. I understand that they had to make this plea to get freedom but still.

And it looks like Terry Hobbs is gonna get away with murder.

Shame on the original investigators and idiot judge. You have on your hands the blood of those poor young boys who were killed.

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 1:55 PM

I can't wait to hear Damien's Witchouse/Cold Wave project. somebody get that dude a Mac

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 1:58 PM

Great news. And a third installment of "Paradise Lost" is going to air next month on HBO. Cool stuff.

Posted by Ron | August 19, 2011 1:59 PM

@1:49 On the other hand there is that pesky DNA evidence pointing to one of the victims' stepfather, evidence of jury misconduct, and the fact that the eyewitness in question was eight years old.

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 2:02 PM

lol 4th comment

so close and yet so far

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 2:13 PM

So, open season on Cub Scouts now? Somewhere, Satan is laughing. Soon enough, the Mighty Right Hand of God will make the high places small. May that day come soon.

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 2:15 PM

ala beavis... "uh... what"

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 2:18 PM

Hopefully Eddie Ved left his uke in Seattle.

Posted by Blag the destroyer | August 19, 2011 2:23 PM

In 2002, "Rise Above: 24 Black Flag Songs to Benefit the West Memphis Three" was released. Ryan Adams covered Nervous Breakdown....we all suffered!

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 2:25 PM

Definitely the least successful Baldwin brother

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 2:31 PM

Fuck Scott Ellington and the state of Arkansas. Nothing ever good comes out of that state, except for RWake and Scottie Pippen. Fucking redneck tea party hillbilly white trash shitheads, enjoy the meth and perpetual hopelessness!

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 2:41 PM

Just as they are freed, Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers was arrested today on terrorism/conspiracy/trafficking charges at JFK!

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 2:48 PM

Um... a bit new to this story but isn't the only conclusion that they couldn't be convicted "beyond a reasonable doubt?" Meaning -- they still could have done it but it just can't be proved?

I agree they shouldn't be jailed if it can't be clearly proven but I'm not sure why they're such rock stars with celebrity backers. Sounds like they were dicks before all this went down, and its still reasonably possible that they did commit these murders.

Any explanations? Actually curious.

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 2:57 PM

shut up 2.57 this is no place for what you're doing.

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 3:00 PM

Yeah 2:57...honest, thoughtful comments and a heartfelt, genuine query have no place on this blog (sarcasm).

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 3:13 PM

According to the LA Times evidence was found which would prevent them from having been at the scene of the crime.
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/nationnow/2011/08/west-memphis-3-free.html

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 3:20 PM

What I think 3:00 means is that 2:57 is trolling. I agree.

The tragedy is that they're not going after the stepfather, whose DNA was at the crime scene, out of either stubbornness or fear of admitting to wrongful convictions, so an actual loathsome child murderer is going to get away with it.

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 3:28 PM

wut up with gibby

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 3:42 PM

^ Um.... I'm 2:57 and I certainly was not trolling.

Thank you 3:28 for actually answering my question.

BTW how the fuck could my comment be construed as a troll? It was a reasonable question.

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 3:53 PM

Those guys have a lot of years of hummus eating to catch up on.

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 3:56 PM

glad they're finally seeing justice, it's a shame they've had to spend a large chunk of their lives in prison for listening to metal

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 4:08 PM

will there be free hummus?

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 4:45 PM

@ 4:45

An un-American but tasty muslim snack like Hummus wouldn't exist in Arkansas.

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 5:09 PM

I'm 3.00 and I wasn't accusing 2.57 of trolling. I was telling them to shut up, reasonable discourse is uncalled for. I'm not being sarcastic. And don't anyone dare agree with me. I am disgusted by each and every one of you.

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 5:27 PM

good thing they got out in time to hear the lou reed metallica collaboration

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 5:51 PM

your on the internet-google it!

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 6:17 PM

yeah... i bet these guys never even HAD hummus before... it wasn't really popular in america yet when they got wrongly put away

and i highly doubt they serve hummus in the slammer

they must have heard some stuff about it, i hope they enjoy it!!!

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 6:20 PM

Its about fucking time!

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2011 7:16 PM

1:49- You're kidding , right? Every bit of the "evidence" that you quoted has been discounted.

Posted by Anonymous | August 20, 2011 2:42 AM

Actually, I was just quoting the AP story. Apparently, some of that has been "discounted", but not all. Given today's proceedings, with the 3 pleading guilty, that pretty much throws a cold towel on all the "injustice" arguments. Face it, none of us will ever know the truth. Being dead certain one way or the other is just plain foolishness.
Just because some rock star supports the cause doesn't mean they're right. I thought we learned our lesson after Hurricane Carter. Maybe sometimes they are actually guilty.

Posted by Anonymous | August 20, 2011 3:07 AM

Eddie Vedder is Clown Shit.

Posted by Anonymous | August 20, 2011 3:42 AM

Hicks.

Posted by Anonymous | August 20, 2011 10:07 AM

3:07- I could care less about the celebrity involvement. None of the DNA evidence links them to the crime. And judging by what was committed it would have been virtually impossible fot NO DNA of their to have been on the scene. The "guilty" plea was nothing more than a deplorable offer the prioners were forced into so that they could not sue after they got out. Do you think that if the state really thought they were guilty of murdering three young children they would have let them go? Seriously. They KNEW they would lose eventually, possibly with jobs lost, and with millions upon millions of dollars in damages. They gambled that these three would be so desperate to get out that they would take this bs deal and they won.

Posted by Anonymous | August 20, 2011 11:05 AM

I think it is possible to commit a crime like this and have not a have dna link. the police could have botched the collection for example.

I don't it was the work of a single serial killer however. hard to believe one guy could strip and hogtie 3 kids w/o any help.

I read several accounts of the crime but none mentioned an alibi.
does anyone know if their whereabouts at the time of the crime have been definitively accounted for?

Posted by Anonymous | August 20, 2011 11:34 AM

A woman on the news last night, stated that Jessie Miskelly was at her house at the time the crime took place, but no one would listen to her. She was at the block party Jessie's dad threw for his homecoming.

Posted by Donna Ford | August 20, 2011 9:32 PM

Thanks for posting 9:32.

Very messy affair. I can't make sense out of any of it. The 'satanic ritual" motive seems really far fetched and the police totally botched the evidence collection.

Posted by Anonymous | August 21, 2011 12:47 PM

@1:47 it's been longer than 12 years. Try 18. I'm from the area originally and am the same age as the Three. Never thought this day would come but am glad that it did.

Another interesting thing that one of the news articles brought up is that apparently the WM3 have never used a cell phone, the Internet, a smart phone, etc. At the celebration party they were looking at people's iPhones in amazement. Brave new world in a LOT of ways for them. I wish them the best.

Posted by Anonymous | August 22, 2011 9:30 AM

@9:30

so what is the general sentiment of the regular people of w memphis? If the "3" didn't do it, if it's possible to speculate, who did?

Posted by Anonymous | August 22, 2011 11:35 AM

@11:35 Good question. Some people, of course, will always think that they are guilty. (Read some of the comments on the websites of area newspapers.) The evidence overwhelmingly points to as-yet unidentified people. Probably drifters of some sort (West Memphis, AR is a major truck stop). Other folks think that one of the stepfathers did it. Other people are not 100 percent sure (and I agree with you that there is a bit of doubt) that they are innocent but feel that their release is a good thing because of how they were railroaded and how botched the investigation and original trials were. What sucks is that the state of Arkansas' official stance now is that the WM3 is guilty (but that they would have been aquitted at a second trial and then the state would have had to pay big $$$ to the WM3) and so the case is now closed. They will not be doing any further investigations to find the real murderer(s).

Posted by Anonymous | August 22, 2011 12:05 PM

Thanks 12:05.

I think it was group thing. I cant see one guy corralling 3 kids familiar w the woods/ area. at least one would have escaped.

I did read however that supporters of the WM3 were setting up a fund to find the real killers.

Another theory had an black guy, so called " mr bojangles", who was covered in mud and blood at a local cafe, but the police never collected any evidence from the restroom where he clean up,

Posted by Anonymous | August 22, 2011 12:27 PM

the mr. bojangles theory is the most startling aspect of all of this. It's what makes you think there was a serious cover up to keep these three kids in jail. apparently blood was scraped from the tile of the bathroom Mr. Bojangles cleaned up in (when his presence matched the timeline of the murders), but the evidence was either lost or never submitted. Truly disturbing.

Posted by Anonymous | August 22, 2011 12:46 PM

I dont believe it!

Theres no way those three weirdos killed those kids

a case that makes the state of arkansas look like SATANIC PANIC HQ

I dont believe they got out!

never should have served a day of jail!

being weird is not a crime!

some serial killer whacked those kids!

Posted by Katie Caliente | September 11, 2011 9:06 AM

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