Thursday, December 20, 2007

Free the West Memphis Three

I cannot believe the West Memphis Three haven't been released after I read an article in the New York Times back on October 30, which essentially proved (to me at least) that all three of them were innocent. They were victims of satanic panic.


Bold emphasis mine:
Supporters of the defendants hope the legal filing will provide the defense with a breakthrough. Two of the men, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, are serving life in prison, while one, Damien W. Echols, is on death row. There was no physical evidence linking the teenagers, now known as the West Memphis 3, to the crime.

“This is the first time that the evidence has ever really been tested,” said Gerald Skahan, a member of the defense team. “The first trial was pretty much a witch hunt.”

Brent Davis, the local prosecutor, did not respond to requests for comment about the new evidence and the case, but in general prosecutors and investigators have continued to express confidence in their investigation.

The story the defendants’ supporters have presented — of three misfits whose fondness for heavy-metal music made them police targets — has won the men the support of celebrities like Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, Marilyn Manson and the creators of “South Park.” Many learned of the case through an HBO documentary, “Paradise Lost,” and a sequel.

The prosecution hinged on a confession riddled with factual errors and a Satanic cult expert with a mail-order degree. Mr. Echols’s own lawyer called him “weird” and “not the all-American boy.”

If being "weird" and "not the all-American boy" is all it takes to wind up on death row, then I belong there myself.

Thankfully, this injustice continues to gather attention, and Natalie Maines is involved, which hopefully will not prompt another round of CD burnings for the Dixie Chicks.