West Memphis Three Witness Recants Testimony

Not that it helps a helluva lot now, but Vicki Hutcheson has recanted the testimony used to convict Echols, Miskelley and Baldwin of the 1993 murders. (Link). She also accuses the WM police of deliberately losing tape recordings in which Echols denies any role in the killings.

Of course the WM Police now says “Well she admits she’s a liar… why should you believe her?”. By saying this they’re admitting that they knew she was a liar all along, in which case why did they use her?

This trial is just a fucking nightmare that really really really bothers me. I want to know that the three in prison or guilty or see them released, but when you’re dealing with lying religious fanatics and cities full of dumbasses justice isn’t likely to ever happen.

The WM3 case is one of the worst and most obvious miscarriages of justice since the Emmit Till case.

They were lynched by hillbillies because they wore black T-shirts and listened to Metallica.

I can’t understand why no governor there has yet had the balls to pardon these guys who are obviously innocent and have had their lives stolen from them by a truly broken system.

Henry Rollins is a huge supporter of freeing the West Memphis Three. Maybe he paid Vicki a visit and gave her a really nasty look.

Why’s this in The Pit?

I don’t know if the WM3 are innocent or guilty. At the very least they should get a fair trial and somebody needs to take a look at the West Memphis Police Department and clean some house. I live in Arkansas and W. Memphis has a reputation for being the absolute ass end of the state.


It’s probably in the pit in anticipation of vitriol and foul language, which I predict will be forthcoming if this thread gets many responses.

Well, the WM3 already got their “fair” trial, and were convicted.

I strongly recommend you watch the HBO documentary “Paradise Lost” (and it’s sequel, Paradise Lost 2.) It’s the most frightening, compelling documentary I’ve ever seen.

For those not familiar with the case, here’s the previous thread on the subject.

They’ve started DNA testing. Any idea how long that should take and what would be the following course of action, particularly if the DNA points to someone not currently in prison?

I’m also fortunate enough to be an Arkansan. I will vouch for WM not being the most highly regarded part of the state. Even people from Mayflower think themselves above WM.

Longer than was claimed by participants in the linked thread, apparently. Diane had claimed an encyclopedic knowledge of the case, and said that DNA testing was almost complete. This was in January. Apparently it did not start until last June.

I mention it because she got pretty fucking snotty about how I should shut up because I didn’t know all the facts. Then she posted as above. :rolleyes:

There was a reference to the testing on the WM3 website, which has since been removed. Searches of the website have found no references to it.

I suspect the testing is still underway, or is complete and the results not what the defenders of the three wanted.


google of wm3.org + DNA

83 instances of DNA by Google’s count. Apparently, they began pressing for DNA testing in 2000 and only were allowed to go about the testing this year.

Legal Updates
However, in 2000, work began on developing evidence that would support an “actual innocence” claim. After visiting the WMPD with an evidence analyst in November and discovering there was potential for DNA testing to exonerate his client, Stidham filed a motion with Judge Burnett. He asked for permission to have the evidence properly preserved and to test/retest certain items.

In March of 2001, the State filed a response to Stidham’s motion. While Brent Davis apparently had no objection to evidence being preserved, he did object to having the evidence tested. In May 2001, Stidham wrote and reminded Judge Burnett about the new state law allowing inmates to seek testing/retesting of evidence, regardless of the prosecutor’s wishes. He asked for a hearing on his motion. Judge Burnett did not respond.

In February of 2002, Dan finally asked Judge Burnett to have the hearing set in front of a different judge. After all, his original motion – so far essentially ignored by the Court – was filed in November of 2000. In March, the Judge responded and offered a few potential hearing dates. But because Stidham’s initial motion was filed prior to the new post-conviction DNA testing statutes came into effect, he wanted to file an amended Petition. Stidham asked for time to file and agreed to allow opportunity for the prosecution to respond before a hearing was finally scheduled. In late 2002, Misskelley filed the amended Petition.

In 2003, Judge Burnett entered an Order for Preservation of Evidence, without holding a hearing. At this time, the requested DNA testing is proceeding. Judge Burnett finally signed the Order for DNA Testing, which was filed June 2, 2004. Getting all parties to agree on what specifically would be tested, where it would be tested, etc., was a time consuming process. As soon as we have an update to report, it will be posted on our News page.

You know, you’ve been obscenely eager to kill these kids despite the fact that there is not a single piece of evidence against them.

Please tell me what you know that no one else knows. What do you actually know about the case? What convinces you that they’re guilty? Can you do anything besides point tautologically at their convictions? I didn’t think so.

The DNA isn’t back yet because the state kept blocking the tests so your nasty little insinuation is completely unwarranted.

Do yourself a favor and watch the Paradise Lost movies.

That you are a liar. OK, that is something everyone knows.

Not a single piece of evidence, right? No blood match, no fiber evidence, no confession, nothing, right? They just picked out three kids, completely at random.

You are such a fucking idiot.

That’s right, asshole, trhere is NO PHYSICAL EVIDENCE. No blood, no fibers, nothing. The ENTIRE case for the prosecution was based on a coerced confession from a mentally retarded teenager. In the tape of the confession he keeps getting facts wrong and the cops have to keep leading him and correcting him on what to say. That’s all there is. There is nothing else, Dracula.

Blood match: None. There might have been a blood match with the psychotic black man covered in blood who walked into the Women’s room of a Bojangles fried chicken outlet that night, but the police didn’t take a blood sample from the wall until two days later, then they LOST it. (Repeat… they LOST the blood sample from a deranged blood covered person who walked into a restaurant on the night three boys were brutally murdered- and that’s not even the worst case of legal or investigative incompetence associated with the case.)

Fiber evidence: Some fibers found at the crime scene were “microscopically similar” to- get this- fibers found on a blouse belonging to Damien Echols’s mother. The official theory: the fibers got onto his clothing in the dryer and it happened to be those fibers, not any of the far more numerous fibers of his own clothing, that wiped off at the crime scene. (Incidentally, the blouse was identical to millions of others sold at Wal-Marts across the nation.)

Confession: Watch the movie. Read the book (Devil’s Knot, Mara Leveritt). The “confession” came from a retarded teenager who was questioned for twelve hours without a lawyer present, without his legal guardian present, with a baseball bat inexplicably present in the room, AND in his “confession” he got numerous- not one or two but several very key facts wrong (the time the murders happened, the order of the killings, whether the bodies had been sexually molested, etc.). False confessions are not uncommon when the victim is weak willed, feels intimidated and believes that (or is told that) he will be released if he confessed, and Miskelley is a textbook case of the type of person likely to give a false confession. (And, repeat, he contradicted himself and the known facts of the case many times in the confession.)

COMPLETELY AT RANDOM: No. Echols had been on the list of the WM police for years because he was rumored to be a devil worshiper.

That’s simply not true. A criminalist from the State Crime Laboratory and a State Medical Examiner testified concerning the similarity of fibers found on the victim’s clothes with clothing found in Echols’s home and the serrated wound patterns on the three victims that were consistent with, and could have been caused by, a knife found in a lake behind appellant Baldwin’s parents’ residence.

Now, this is weak evidence, to be sure: as Sampiro points out, the fiber evidence is hardly conclusive, and the knife wounds don’t prove it was a particular knife.

But these objections are to the WEIGHT of the evidence. It’s wrong to say there is no evidence.

Would you be willing to kill somebody based on the strength of this “evidence?”

Are you at all disturbed by the “confession” which was wrung from a retarded teenager with no lawyer, with multiple factual errors and with a baseball bat visible on a desk?

You admit yourself that ythe fibers mean nothing. The fact that a knife was found in lake in the general proximity of one of the defendants’ houses is hardly compelling evidence seeing as how it vcannot be connected to the defendant and it cannot even be proven to be the murder weapon.

You’re an attorney, Rick. You know this is bullshit evidence. You know this goes beyond reasonable doubt.

From the evidence you’ve listed would you be willing decide that these kids were guility beyond a reasonable doubt?

Are you aware that one of the kids’ had a stepfather who virtually confessed to the murders on camera? Did you jnow he gave the producers of Paradise Lost a knife with human blood on it (they had it tested, it was human. They did not or could not do a DNA test but I don’t remember why).

These kids had their lives stolen from them because a town wanted a scapegoat and they decided these kids were devil worshippers.

Have you ever seen the Paradise Lost documentaries?

Well, good thing none of them were on death row!

Oh, wait…

Diogenes, you’re amazing. First, you say that there is no evidence.

[sub]Bolding mine[/sub]

Then, when Bricker calls you on it, you say this:

That is an entirely different argument.

Let me know when you get your story straight so that I can make an informed decision about this, OK? It seems to me that whether you’re informed or not you’re incapable of informing others of the truth, preferring to leave certain facts aside in favor of your whitewashed version of events.

There ISN’T any evidence. There was bullshit presented at trial but that bullshit was not really evidence.

Look at it again. Look as Sampiro’s post to get the scoop on the so-called “fiber evidence.” The only other thing was a knife found in a lake in the general neighborhood of one of the defendants. The knife was never shown to be connected to the defendant or to have anything to do with the crime?

How is that evidence? There is absolutely nothing fucking probative about either exhibit. I repeat, there is not a motherfucking shred of motherfucking physical evidence connecting these kids to the motherfucking crime.
My story is perfectly straight. Learn to read with some fucking comprehension.