Skip to comments.West Memphis 3 return to court and, perhaps, freedom (murdered three 8yo boys in 1993, now free)
Posted on 08/19/2011 8:15:35 AM PDT by DCBryan1
Much more to come later this morning from Jonesboro, where Circuit Judge David Laser will consider a plea bargain between the state and the West Memphis 3 that could bring their immediate release from prison after more than 17 years.
If the judge approves and this is an all-important if the defendants will leave still convicted of first-degree murder for slaying three eight-year-old West Memphis boys in 1993. This will leave their staunchest defenders unhappy and offend even many less interested who will take offense at convictions for crimes that Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr. and Jason Baldwin will still say they did not commit.
The alternative to freedom for time served is to risk losing their appeal for a new trial and to remain in prison for life, or, in Echols' case, execution.
I mentioned yesterday that a no-contest plea is one way to produce a conviction without an admission of guilt by defendants. Another is an obscure legal maneuver, a functional equivalent of a nolo contendere plea known as an "Alford plea," which is to be made in court today, our sources say. Here's a full discussion. It is, in short, a guilty plea where the defendant does not admit the crime. Check the link for further details. It requires a case in which likelihood of conviction is high (it certainly was here, having already occurred), though this would be a novel, perhaps unique use of it after the fact.
Meanwhile: Lindsey Millar has compiled an exhaustive summary of the Arkansas Times' coverage of this case over the years. It consists primarily of Mara Leveritt's dogged and important reporting. Her reporting and her book, "Devil's Knot," were key elements in the chain of events that could lead to freedom today. Celebrity interest, HBO movies and the recent rump organizing by dozens of Arkansas lawyers in behalf of freedom were also factors that helped move events.
Mara Leveritt is Twittering this morning and also writing for her blog. She'll be filing reports to the Arkansas Blog as well, so you can get her coverage right here.
Plea bargain, hell, let the bastards rot in jail,
Why don’t you go here and get some facts on this case.
Hell no, made up crap by the ignorant attorney, that married one of the perverts.
Being locked up entails being suspected of a crime in the first place, and being arrested, and beng tried, and being convicted. So far me and mine have avoided all such entanglements as far back as anyone can recall. It's actually fairly easy to do, although fewer and fewer bother with it since the courthouses installed revolving doors. I'm far more concerned about the damnable guilty roaming free, of which there are thousands upon thousands, than I am about my miniscule chance of being accidentally caught in the gears of the "system".
14 years ago DNA evidence exxonerated them. But the courts didn’t not won’t to admit they were wrong. I guess it’s a good thing the judge got elected to the state senate.
There is no DNA evidence trying him to the crime, one of his hairs was found in the tired shoe of his kid. However, one of the perverts, told the cops where the knife was they used and they found it. Now that is evidence.
I know the facts of the case, the bastards are guilty.
So, you don’t believe cops and courts lie? I’ve seen cops and judges and prosecuting attorneys who won’t admit they were wrong when the real killer confesses.
If you think this can never happen to you or your family, man, all I can say is people like you are the reason it happens.
I am a lawyer in Memphis and I have been following this carefully since the day the murders were committed. I am a law and order conservative and pro-law enforcement, but I really believe they got it wrong in this case. I believe new trials were inevitable. I also believe the prosecution would lose and they knew it. This agreement saves a bit of face for the D.A.
BS! You don’t know crap. The stepfather has the one of the knives. It’s scary to think people like you can serve on juries.
Tell these law and order rednecks on here. Facts don’t seem to phase them. They’re from the “We’re going to give you a fair trial then hang you” group.
To you blind “hang ‘em all” people, don’t post me anymore. I don’t want to argue with you or with crooked cops and DAs.
Wrong. One of his hairs was found in the knot of the rope tying up one of the kids. Another of his hairs was found on a nearby stump.
However, one of the perverts, told the cops where the knife was they used and they found it. Now that is evidence.
No, that is pure fantasy on your part. It never happened.
The happiest man in Arkansas today is Terry Hobbs. This plea means the case is closed and the search for the real killer will never happen.
I hope the guys can still file a civil suit against the jury foreman. Who was like a lot of people on here, by the way.
It’s sad and a shame. I hope true justice will be done here!
You can show these people where they can find the facts and their response will be “I don’t need no stinkin’ facts. Hang the bastards and let God sort it out.”
Surprisingly, he can be quite intelligent on some threads. Now, he's just trolling. Don't let it bother you.
And thank YOU for the informative posts!
Wow, for someone so convinced of their guilt you have a lot of facts completely wrong.
Damien Echol’s wife, Lorri Davis, is not a lawyer, she is an engineer.
The knife you are talking about was a knife Jessie Misskelley had and that he told the police about. The knife could not be connected to any cuts on the boys and it was stipulated in court during the original hearing that the knife the prosecution was presenting was NOT the knife used in the murders but was possibly like the one that had been used. (not sure how that was even allowed).
Btw there is a live press conference on now talking about their release on CNN.
There will be a program on CNN tonight entitled “Presumed Guilty”. Then again, I know CNN always tells lies.
A press conference is about to start. All three are sitting at a table waiting. The youngest still looks like a kid.
So, no, I'm not too concerned. And neither is anybody else, which is why I have to lock my doors at night.