West Memphis 3 in the news again

Some years ago, there was some lively discussion here and here. Here’s an update.

I saw that. Those guys’ lives are pretty much screwed regardless. I still think that hillbilly from the documentaries had something to do with it. I had just moved from Memphis to Mississippi when it happened. I used to go to visit family in Arkansas and went by that Blue Beacon truck stop all the time. ((shudder))

That article needs a proofreader from the Department of Redundency Department.

Okay, two questions:

First, why do you say that?

Second, does anyone know if an execution date has been set for Echols?

No date has been set. I saw that Googling this afternoon.

I’m surprised Huckabee didn’t fry or pardon him.

That should be, “give him the needle or pardon him.”

To a lesser extent:

Even with the DNA evidence proving their innocence (not only that but firmly implicating that deranged, hillbilly stepfather of one of the victims who actually confessed on camera in one of the Paradise Lost movies), I fear these guys will never get out of prison. The entire investigation and trial was so fraudulent, these kids so clearly, undeniably railroaded, but the state won’t ever admit it did anything wrong.

There isn’t a single piece of physical evidence tying these three to the crimes. The entire case was based on a “confession” which obtained from browbeating a mentally retarded teenager for several hours without a lawyer, and without any tape rolling. The confession which was eventually videotaped (with a baseball bat visible on the table) was heavily led, and often factually erroneous, with the cops audibly correcting his story as he goes.

There is no DNA evidence at all from any of the WM3 at the crime scene, but the kife and the rope both had that hillbilly’s DNA . How the fuck can any sitting Governor not pardomn these kids immediately? How does anyone involved with this garbage manage to sleep at night?

A Mississippi delta redneck perhaps, but not a hillbilly. :slight_smile:

West Memphis is in Arkansas. That’s hillbillies.

It is the Mississippi delta. Just across the river from Memphis. :slight_smile:

Just a note:

No rope in this case just shoelaces.

Jessie Misskelley’s confession(s) were never videotaped. They were recorded, however, and audio and transcriptions of the audio are available.

Baseball bat was in a corner of the room. IIRC, the bat was kept in the polygraph room and was not in the room where Jessie was interrogated.

And the “hillbilly” (John Mark Byers) from the docs is not the same “hillbilly” (Terry Hobbs) whose dna was found on Michael Moore’s ligature in 2007.

Also, there has been no compatible dna found on any knives during the recent dna testing funded by the defense. If you are referring to the Kershaw knife featured in Paradise Lost and belonging to John Mark Byers, the blood on the knife was tested and found to be compatible with both Byers and his step-son, Christopher Byers (the dna results are actually more complicated than this but that’s the gist of it). Again, IIRC, this knife has not been retested due to chain of custody issues. To add to this, the forensic experts hired by the defense for their appeals do not believe any knife/knives were used to commit the murders.

The three hour interrogation beforehand was not recorded in any way, and the taped confession is still audibly led and corrected by the cops, and the kid was still retarded.

Uh huh.

This is my mistake then.


I’'m sure you’ll agree that there still is no evidence whatsoever that the WM3 did it, and that their trial and conviction is a disgusting travesty.

Jessie Misskelley is retarded. Where did I say otherwise? Why would you assume I didn’t think he was?

Jessie confessed 3 times. All three times were recorded. You can hear them here:


I am going from memory on this so my timeline might be off but he was arrested early on 6/6/93 and interrogated for several hours. He gave his 1st confession from 2:44 to 3:18 in the afternoon. This was recorded but not videotaped. The police brought the confession to a judge to obtain warrants for Damien Echols and Jason Baldwin. The judge refused to sign off on the warrants so the police went back and got a second confession from Jessie. Again, this was recorded but not videotaped. After Jessie’s conviction, the police wanted him to testify against Damien Echols and Jason Baldwin so they got him to confess again. This was recorded but not videotaped.

You seem to think I don’t believe his confessions were coereced. Why is that? Is it because I corrected all the errors in your post?

Absolutely and 100%.

That said, I’ve followed this case for a little over a decade now and one thing I’ve learned is that you do no one any favors when you get your facts wrong and make accusations based on stereotypes. That kind of hostility to the truth lands innocent people on death row and in prison for life.

Here’s a pretty interesting cite I frequent concerning this case.

You’re right.

This case makes me nuts, and I get my facts a little muddled sometimes. You’re right that it doesn’t help to get them wrong.

Come on–“hillbilly” is just a description–not necessarily a geographic term. Everybody from the hills is not a “hillbilly”, but some people from other places are. It basically means white trash asshole (@ least where I’m from!).

I’m somewhat annoyed at having people from my state referred to as hillbillies, and was trying to express it differently than asking him to step out in the alley with me.
I’d need an axe handle.

Besides, I can’t think of anything mean to say about Minnesota except, “Where?” :slight_smile:

I’m originally from Lousiana, for what it’s worth. Shreveport. Not that far from AR.

And do I call you folks Coons Asses?
I do not, Sir.

A few years ago we watched the documentary Paradise Lost in one of my college courses here in Arkansas. It was very interesting to hear their reactions to friends and family of the West Memphis Three and the murdered boys during our class discussion. While nobody used the word hillbilly or redneck a large portion of the class found the citizens of West Memphis to be comical and more than a little stupid. The scene with the two fathers shooting the pistols at targets while at least one of them goes on about how he was shooting Echols, Misskelly, and Baldwin stands out in my mind. Another scene that stands out is when one of the mothers -she was youngish and attractive- was about to be interviewed by a news station and she was laughing and smiling before the camera started rolling. A lot of people in my class were bothered by these kinds of behavior.

I’d talk more about it but I don’t want to hijack the thread further than I already have. “Paradise Lost” had a pretty big impact on me and the case of the West Memphis 3 got me to think about our criminal justice system in new ways.