It’s just another day for the West Memphis 3 – like any other day, they will continue to wrongfully spend their lives behind bars for crimes they obviously did not commit. Yet another attempt at a new trial has been denied, even in light of DNA evidence that shows that one of the three, Damien Echols, was absolutely not at the scene of the crime: “DNA-testing results are inconclusive because they do not raise a reasonable probability that he did not commit the offenses; that is, they are inconclusive as to his claim of actual innocence.” Judge, can you explain how someone is guilty of murder but had nothing to do with it?
For a fascinating, and maddening, read, check out the official site supporting the West Memphis 3, and especially the case synopsis. I cannot possibly go into the story here, it is long and complicated, but it’s pretty clear that these boys (because they were mere boys at the time) had nothing to do with the three little boys’ murders. Is this the greatest legal injustice of the 20th century? It might just be – in light of overwhelming evidence that supports the WM3’s innocence, including a botched investigation by a police force that had never dealt with a murder before as well as the coerced confession of a mentally handicapped teenager (who wound up convicting himself – he’s one of the three) and even bite marks on one of the victims that matches none of the three, they continue to struggle behind bars. If you get a chance, you owe it to yourself to check out the infuriating documentary about the situation, Paradise Lost. If you really want to dig into it and be an amateur investigator, this site also offers all of the case information.