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 West Memphis Three granted new trial!
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 11/25/2010 :  02:03:45  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wahoo!!!

I don’t know how this got by me but The West Memphis Three have been granted a new trial after more than 15 years. They were convicted on no evidence other than an unlawful (in any sane persons mind) confession of a satanic crime. The confession was coerced out of a mentally challenged defendant in the case and the confession didn’t match the facts. The confession was almost immediately retracted but the country at the time was in the grip of the satanic crime scare (all baloney) and the three were convicted anyhow. Damian Echols has spent the last 15 years on death row for the crime of having black hair, listening to metal bands, and reading Steven King novels. Really. No shit.

New hearing ordered for 3 in Ark. scout deaths


The Arkansas Supreme Court ordered the hearings to decide whether new DNA analysis - and other evidence not introduced at the 1994 trials - could lead a reasonable jury to acquit death-row inmate Damien Echols as well as Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, who are serving life sentences.
The ruling was a major win for Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley, who are known to sympathizers as the West Memphis Three and have gained the support of celebrities as well as legal scholars who say they were wrongfully convicted. Echols has been on Arkansas' death row since 1994, when he was 20, after being convicted in the deaths of 8-year-olds Steve Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore. The three boys were found beaten, nude and hog-tied in an area known as Robin Hood Hills in West Memphis…

Snip.
The Supreme Court rebuked Circuit Court Judge David Burnett for not holding a hearing on the DNA evidence before rejecting Echols' request for a new trial in 2008. Burnett had ruled that the crime-scene DNA evidence - which shows no trace of Echols or the two other men convicted of the murders - was legally inconclusive and not enough to prove innocence.

"While there is a significant dispute in this case as to the legal effects of the DNA test results, it is undisputed that the results conclusively excluded Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley as the source of the DNA evidence tested," the court wrote Thursday.

Snip.
The court also said that the new hearings should focus on all evidence that could prove the men's innocence or guilt, not just the DNA results. Echols' lengthy appeal includes affidavits alleging juror misconduct, claiming that the jury considered a confession that Misskelley made to police. That confession was never introduced as evidence at trial because Misskelley recanted it and refused to testify against Echols and Baldwin….

This makes me very happy.

A note of interest is that prick Judge David Burnett presided over both the original trials and subsequent appeals. I don’t even know how that was allowed to happen.

I guess I will (hopefully) soon be taking the Free The West Memphis Three link off of my forum signature. There is just no way these guys will be convicted again on what passed for evidence in the original trial…

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9672 Posts

Posted - 11/25/2010 :  06:32:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not a moment too soon!

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
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"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 11/25/2010 :  06:57:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Excellent! Now if we could replace them with that judge......




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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The Rat
SFN Regular

Canada
1342 Posts

Posted - 11/25/2010 :  07:11:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit The Rat's Homepage Send The Rat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If this case had come from some backwater in Africa or a theocratic Islamic state I wouldn't have been surprised. But in an allegedly civilized country?!

Bailey's second law; There is no relationship between the three virtues of intelligence, education, and wisdom.

You fiend! Never have I encountered such corrupt and foul-minded perversity! Have you ever considered a career in the Church? - The Bishop of Bath and Wells, Blackadder II

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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 11/25/2010 :  08:22:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That's a good bit of news.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 11/25/2010 :  11:03:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here is the actual Arkansas supreme court ruling.

SUPREME COURT OF ARKANSAS No. CR08-1493

It pretty consistently refers to erroneous interpretations of the law by the circuit court that considered the appeals. The court basically tore Judge Burnnett a new asshole. And deservedly so. He apparently and consistently reinterpreted state law in order to prevent a new trial. Since David Burnnett presided over the original trials, it seems pretty clear (to me and others) that his rulings were intended to cover his own ass. (Never mind the freak show that he allowed to go on in the original trial that included Dale W. Griffis as an “expert in satanic crime.” He received his degree from a diploma mill, which is why I don’t refer to him as Dr. Dale Griffis. The link is worth a read.)

By the way. When that prick Burnett was hearing the appeals and ruled, he was officially retired. He was running for the state senate,
(a seat he won). The thinking was it would take too long for another judge to get up to speed in the case. He stated that he thought his rulings will be upheld by the Arkansas Supreme Court. He was wrong. Oh, and he also said he was sick of the case before the denied the three a new trial.

I could go on…

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9672 Posts

Posted - 11/25/2010 :  12:34:56   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Could the Judge be tried for misconduct or malpractice?

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 11/25/2010 :  13:20:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dr. Mabuse

Could the Judge be tried for misconduct or malpractice?
I doubt it. Apparently the law allowed him to do what he did. He should have recused himself. The good news is the Arkansas supreme court doesn't agree with his rulings against a new trial based on new evidence to the point of reversing pretty much every one of them and calling for a new trial.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

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Hawks
SFN Regular

Canada
1383 Posts

Posted - 11/25/2010 :  21:33:15   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by The Rat

If this case had come from some backwater in Africa or a theocratic Islamic state I wouldn't have been surprised. But in an allegedly civilized country?!


This all reminds me of the McMartin preschool trial. What's the fascination with satanic cults in the US?

METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
It's a small, off-duty czechoslovakian traffic warden!
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The Rat
SFN Regular

Canada
1342 Posts

Posted - 11/26/2010 :  02:48:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit The Rat's Homepage Send The Rat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Hawks

What's the fascination with satanic cults in the US?



Combine equal parts ignorance and religion, stir slowly.

Bailey's second law; There is no relationship between the three virtues of intelligence, education, and wisdom.

You fiend! Never have I encountered such corrupt and foul-minded perversity! Have you ever considered a career in the Church? - The Bishop of Bath and Wells, Blackadder II

Baculum's page: http://www.bebo.com/Profile.jsp?MemberId=3947338590
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 08/19/2011 :  09:25:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Plea deal could set West Memphis 3 free Friday

The person familiar with the case said that the earlier verdicts would likely be set aside and ultimately replaced with the negotiated pleas. In what's called an Alford plea, the three would agree that prosecutors have a solid amount of evidence against them - likely enough to win a conviction.

Normally, when defendants plead guilty in criminal cases, they admit that they've done the crime in question. But in an Alford plea, defendants are allowed to insist they're innocent, says Kay Levine, a former prosecutor who now teaches criminal law and criminal procedure at Emory University in Atlanta. She is not involved with the Arkansas case.

"It's not an insane strategy decision," Levine said. But, she added: "It's incredibly troubling to us as a free society that people would plead guilty to something that they actually did not do."
Some judges find the legal maneuver offensive, Levine says, because they see no reason someone would not contest to a crime that they didn't commit. But most prosecutors would take the agreement, she said.


My take on this is it's a way for the state to avoid wrongful conviction suits brought by the three. I think this deal sucks. There's no way there is a case against these guys. The state allows them to assert innocence rather than to agree to a plea of guilt, as long as the prosecutors still get to say that they still have a case. WTF?

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26001 Posts

Posted - 08/19/2011 :  11:03:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
West Memphis 3 Free After 18 Years In Prison:
They were sentenced by Circuit Court Judge David Laser to 18 years with credit for time served and an additional 10-year suspended sentence. Steve Branch, Stevie Branch’s father, objected to the plea deal, telling the judge “If you go through with this, you’re going to open Pandora’s Box.”

“It’s not perfect,” said Echols at the post-release press conference, referring to the deal, “but at least it brings closure to some aspects. We can still try to clear our names but now from the outside.”

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 08/19/2011 :  11:23:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The WM3 AreFree!
From the Free the West Memphis Three Site.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 08/19/2011 :  11:32:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Okay. I'm a bit too emotional to be writing about this right now. This has been a cause of mine for many years. And there were times when it looked hopeless. I'm a bit teary.

I'm very interested in what comes next. 18 years were stolen from those guys lives, and there were three children murdered without a proper investigation into their deaths.


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 08/19/2011 :  11:55:49   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
After being freed, ‘West Memphis 3’ speak out The press conference.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 08/19/2011 :  18:03:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Ebone4rock

I am so very glad that they have been released. I have to wonder how these young men will adapt though seeing as they were already troubled young men when they were convicted.

Check out what happened with one of our local wrongfully convicted guys. Read about
Stephen Avery. This wiki article does not do the horrific nature of his and his nephew's crimes after his release justice. I am short on time now but I will try to find a more detailed account later.

I hope there is some sort of counseling or something available to these young men to ensure a smooth introduction back into society. I worry for them.
There will most certainly be a long period of adjustment. But here's the deal. These guys have a lot of support. Also, they weren't particularly troubled. I mean Damian would have fit right in with the goths at that time, and he has obviously grown up pretty well adjusted, given his harsh circumstances. Jason seems okay too, and actually would have held out for the trial if it weren't for Damian's circumstances. (Solitary confinement on death row.) Jessy, well, I don't know. But my guess is just a job well be all he needs. They were all model prisoners.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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