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View Full Version : west memphis 3 being freed today?


spike78a
08-19-2011, 12:44 PM
there are some rumors going around that the west memphis 3 are actually being released from prison today:

Free The West Memphis Three (http://www.wm3.org/)

after all these years it's hard to believe it's finally over.

Jettfire
08-19-2011, 12:47 PM
I hadn't heard this yet. Thanks for the update!

Unclassified
08-19-2011, 12:49 PM
who??

Jettfire
08-19-2011, 12:53 PM
who??

Free The West Memphis Three (http://www.wm3.org/CaseIntroduction/Page/BRIEF-OVERVIEW)

Headman
08-19-2011, 02:44 PM
This will turn political the moment I say they should have executed them years ago. So I won't say that.

Jettfire
08-19-2011, 02:52 PM
This will turn political the moment I say they should have executed them years ago. So I won't say that.

I could explain it to you, but since I wouldn't be able to make you understand it I'll save us both some time.

drunknmunky
08-19-2011, 04:01 PM
So the alleged ring leader confessed, they are sentenced (one to death), but later take a plea deal saying "we didn't do it, but you have enough evidence to convict us"? Our legal system is fucked. If we have the evidence to convict them then let them have a retrial and if convicted fry them right there. If they are found innocent then let them go and search for the real killers. Obviously they were already convicted and now say the state has the evidence to convict them again. Sounds like they should still be rotting in prison. Wait Johnny Depp supports them? Oh, then obviously they're innocent. We as Americans should be ashamed of our justice system.

spike78a
08-19-2011, 04:01 PM
This will turn political the moment I say they should have executed them years ago. So I won't say that.

why would it be political to discuss the case. were all adults here i'm sure we could talk about the facts without it getting to heated.
personally i'm not 100% sure there innocent, but i think given what i've read and seen the past 15 years i think there's a strong chance they didn't do it. which means there's reasonable doubt and they shouldn't have been found guilty.
there's strong evidence that they didn't do it. dna found at the scene didn't match any of the 3 suspects. and the dna that was recovered matched a stepfather of one the murdered kids. there was also dna found belonging to that said stepfather's best friend, and the pair were seen together that day.
there were also witnesses that saw the stepfather with the 3 kids on the day they died after the stepfather said he had not seen them all day. also there was jury tampering.
the things that still bother me are what would be the motive for the stepfather for killing his stepson and the other 2 boys. they didn't get along but it's still and extreme action to take. unless he snapped and then killed his stepson and had to cover things but not leaving any witnesses.
also, damien echols spent time in a mental hospital before the murders. the reason being he reportedly planned to have a baby with his girlfriend for the sole purpose to scarifice the baby to satan. though that seems too far fetched.
in the end the evidence is too strong for me believe to that they did it. though i'm not 100% but if there's reasonable doubt they should be free and they are now:

'West Memphis 3' freed in child killings after 18 years - CNN.com (http://www.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/08/19/arkansas.child.killings/index.html?hpt=hp_t1)

Jettfire
08-19-2011, 04:10 PM
So the alleged ring leader confessed, they are sentenced (one to death), but later take a plea deal saying "we didn't do it, but you have enough evidence to convict us"? Our legal system is fucked. If we have the evidence to convict them then let them have a retrial and if convicted fry them right there. If they are found innocent then let them go and search for the real killers. Obviously they were already convicted and now say the state has the evidence to convict them again. Sounds like they should still be rotting in prison. Wait Johnny Depp supports them? Oh, then obviously they're innocent. We as Americans should be ashamed of our justice system.

Damien Echols never confessed. Jessie Misskelley Jr., who happens to be mentally handicapped, did make a confession under duress and later retracted it.

It stands that they were convicted without any actual physical evidence. The only evidence that has been introduced since their original trial only further exonerates them and was introduced by their own legal defense teams, not the state. The state has never introduced a single piece of physical evidence that connects any of the defendants to the crime.

GI C
08-19-2011, 04:15 PM
Saw a news story on CNN.Well, no one really cares about the 3 kids that were killed,even Johnny didn't care about the 3 murdered kids.

spike78a
08-19-2011, 04:17 PM
So the alleged ring leader confessed, they are sentenced (one to death), but later take a plea deal saying "we didn't do it, but you have enough evidence to convict us"? Our legal system is fucked. If we have the evidence to convict them then let then have a retrial and if convicted fry them right there. If they are found innocent then let them go and search for the real killers. Obviously they were already convicted and now say the state has the evidence to convict them again. Sounds like they should still be rotting in prison. Wait Johnny Depp supports them? Oh, then obviously they're innocent. We as Americans should be ashamed of our justice system.

the reason this plea deal was set up is because the evidence is so soo strong the other way and the prosecutors are trying to save face. there was a hearing set up for later this year where it may been decided that a retrial was needed and if that would have happened, which it most likely was, the memphis da would have lost the case. so to prevent that they set up this plea deal.
i can't blame the suspects for taking the deal. they've been in jail for the past 17 years for something they didn't do and why take any chances when there's a deal on the table and they can finally be free.
we should be ashamed of our justice system, they should have been able to admit they made mistakes. that they may have sent 3 kids to jail for something they didn't do and the let the real killers roam free for the past 17 years and counting. but they take this cop out plea deal instead.

Jettfire
08-19-2011, 04:22 PM
Saw a news story on CNN.Well, no one really cares about the 3 kids that were killed,even Johnny didn't care about the 3 murdered kids.

This is an asinine comment. It should go without saying that everyone involved or connected wants justice for Steven Branch, Christopher Byers, and Michael Moore.

Today was just about getting justice for the three victims of this case that are still living.

Jettfire
08-19-2011, 04:32 PM
the reason this plea deal was set up is because the evidence is so soo strong the other way and the prosecutor are trying to save face. there was hearing set up for later this year where it may been decided that a retrial was needed and if that would have happened, which it most likely was, the memphis da would have lost the case. so to prevent that they set up this plea deal.
i can't blame the suspects for taking the deal. they've been in jail for the past 17 years for something they didn't do and why take any chances when there's a deal on the table and they can finally be free.
we should be ashamed of our justice system, they should have been able to admit they made mistakes. that they may have sent 3 kids to jail for something they didn't do and the let the real killers roam free for the past 17 years and counting. but they take this cop out plea deal instead.

It's truly sad when innocent men must admit guilt while maintaining innocence in order to secure their freedom.

The state of Arkansas blackmailed these men with their freedom after railroading them for 17 years, all to save face and avoid a devastating lawsuit down the road.

sharky
08-19-2011, 04:51 PM
It's truly sad when innocent men must admit guilt while maintaining innocence in order to secure their freedom.

The state of Arkansas blackmailed these men with their freedom after railroading them for 17 years, all to save face and avoid a devestating lawsuit down the road.
I think that's the real kicker. They don't want the lawsuit that would probably be in the millions of dollars. I wonder if you could press criminal charges for certain people for specific wrongdoing they did during the investigation if it came out in court.

GI C
08-19-2011, 05:22 PM
This is an asinine comment. It should go without saying that everyone involved or connected wants justice for Steven Branch, Christopher Byers, and Michael Moore.

Today was just about getting justice for the three victims of this case that are still living.

All I am saying is that someone or a group of someones committed this crime.Besides the 3 kids that were charged.I know the DA said case closed on this case but no one is being held accountable.Sorry if my comment was asinine.It's sad on both sides.I should have been more clear.

RolandofGilead
08-19-2011, 05:47 PM
This is the kind of story that makes me wish there were a real life Punisher out there somewhere.

drunknmunky
08-19-2011, 06:08 PM
This is the kind of story that makes me wish there were a real life Punisher out there somewhere.

I prefer The Boondock Saints. If you've ever wanted to take justice into your own hands then watch this movie. I so wish I could do it. Well technically I can if I wanted to...

spike78a
08-19-2011, 06:38 PM
if they caught the real killer(s) tomorrow, and there was a confession, and there was irrefutable proof there would still be people who think the west memphis 3 are the real murderers.
some people are just to stubborn or have to much blind faith in the legal system. in the end the legal system is made of people and people make mistakes. though the justice system works for the most part we can't be scared to question or challenge it when we think a wrong has been committed, i'm just glad were in country were we can.
who i truly feel for today are the parents of Michael Moore, they still think echols, misskelley, and baldwin are the true killers. imagine the pain they must be going through thinking the men who killed there son are now free. so i'm hoping they do indeed find the person(s) responsible for murders as soon as possible. but with a case this old i doubt it.

MissyDee
08-19-2011, 06:52 PM
This will turn political the moment I say they should have executed them years ago. So I won't say that.

I could explain it to you, but since I wouldn't be able to make you understand it I'll save us both some time.

i applaud u for caring about a subject so deeply...but you and i both know headys being dumb...you really don't have to point out his stupidity...he does it pretty well on his own...lol

i have no comment on this subject...

im pretty sick about all the death and murder and kidnapping and raping and child abuse and animal cruelty and all the other shit going on in the country...rarely watch the news because thats all thats on it...wish they would talk about something fun once in a while...

Headman
08-19-2011, 07:22 PM
i applaud u for caring about a subject so deeply...but you and i both know headys being dumb...you really don't have to point out his stupidity...he does it pretty well on his own...lol

i have no comment on this subject...

im pretty sick about all the death and murder and kidnapping and raping and child abuse and animal cruelty and all the other shit going on in the country...rarely watch the news because thats all thats on it...wish they would talk about something fun once in a while...

Personal attacks will be reported. No need for name calling.

PitViper
08-19-2011, 07:55 PM
This is the kind of story that makes me wish there were a real life Punisher out there somewhere.

I think about this all the time and I think that's the reason we're so facsinated by the "street justice" characters through time. Because so much shit is just, well...bullshit.

My sympathy for those who have been jailed for no reason. I don't know enough about this story to say more than that.

We could just give Bill O'Reily a black t-shirt with a skull and an AR-15....

Cobra Terrorist
08-19-2011, 08:03 PM
...rarely watch the news because thats all thats on it...

Yep. Same here, Missy. It's nothing but sensationalism and fear-mongering, IMO.

I just go to work each day, hang out with friends, and mess around with Joes and TFs. Sprinkle all that with a good dose of the 'Tank, of course...

xSwamiJayx
08-19-2011, 10:09 PM
So the alleged ring leader confessed, they are sentenced (one to death), but later take a plea deal saying "we didn't do it, but you have enough evidence to convict us"? Our legal system is fucked. If we have the evidence to convict them then let them have a retrial and if convicted fry them right there. If they are found innocent then let them go and search for the real killers. Obviously they were already convicted and now say the state has the evidence to convict them again. Sounds like they should still be rotting in prison. Wait Johnny Depp supports them? Oh, then obviously they're innocent. We as Americans should be ashamed of our justice system.

Did you read the news story? They plead guilty while acknowledging their innocence. I believe it's called an "Alfred Deal." Basically, it means they can't sue the state.

The thing that has always amazed me the most is that two of the three young children's families have joined the defense. Two of the families actually came out and said, "these re the wrong guys." But they couldn't get a retrial. That's what we should be ashamed of. In 1994, Echols was three weeks from being executed. And now he's free.

This is amazing news. I've been following this case for a long time and it's amazing to see some kind of resolution finally come from it.

I wish that there could be justice for the children that were murdered. But that's not going to happen now because of the DA's hubris.

drunknmunky
08-19-2011, 10:54 PM
Did you read the news story? They plead guilty while acknowledging their innocence. I believe it's called an "Alfred Deal." Basically, it means they can't sue the state.

The thing that has always amazed me the most is that two of the three young children's families have joined the defense. Two of the families actually came out and said, "these re the wrong guys." But they couldn't get a retrial. That's what we should be ashamed of. In 1994, Echols was three weeks from being executed. And now he's free.

This is amazing news. I've been following this case for a long time and it's amazing to see some kind of resolution finally come from it.

I wish that there could be justice for the children that were murdered. But that's not going to happen now because of the DA's hubris.

They're called Alford Pleas. It says that they are not admitting guilt but they acknowledge that the state had enough evidence to convict them. Doesn't make any sense. It only further establishes that our justice system is garbage.
This is from the wiki page-

"The Knife of John Mark Byers (1993)ohn Mark Byers, the adoptive father of victim Christopher Byers, gave a knife to cameraman Doug Cooper, [35] who was working with documentary makers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky while they were filming the first Paradise Lost feature. The knife was a small utility-type knife, manufactured by Kershaw. [35][36] According to the statements given by Berlinger and Sinofsky, Cooper informed them of his receipt of the knife on December 19, 1993. After the documentary crew returned to New York, Berlinger and Sinofsky reported to have discovered what appeared to be blood on the knife. HBO executives ordered them to return the knife to the West Memphis Police Department. [37][38] The knife was not received at the West Memphis Police Department until January 8, 1994. [39] Byers initially claimed the knife had never been used. Blood was found on the knife and Byers then stated that he had used it only once, to cut deer meat. [40] When told the blood matched both his and Chris' blood type, Byers said he had no idea how that blood might have gotten on the knife. During interrogation, West Memphis police suggested to Byers that he might have left the knife out accidentally, and Byers agreed with this. [10] Byers later stated that he may have cut his thumb. Further testing on the knife produced inconclusive results, due in part to the rather small amount of blood, [10] and because both John Mark Byers and Chris Byers had the same HLA-DQα genotype. [41]ohn Mark Byers agreed to, and subsequently passed, a polygraph test during the filming of Paradise Lost 2: Revelations in regard to the murders, but the documentary indicated that Byers was under the influence of several psychoactive prescription medications that could have affected the test results. During the filming of the show, Byers also volunteered his false teeth when presented with the challenge he had bitten the boys' bodies, although at the time of the murders he had his original teeth, which he later had voluntarily extracted, and later claimed there was a medical reason for the procedure. Possible teeth imprints As documented in Paradise Lost 2, Echols, Misskelley and Baldwin submitted imprints of their teeth (after their imprisonment) that were compared to apparent bite-marks on Steve Branch's forehead, initially overlooked in the original autopsy and trial. No matches were found. According to the film, Byers had his teeth removed in 1997—after the first trial. He has offered apparently contradictory reasons for their removal: in one instance claiming they were knocked out in a fight, in another saying the medication he was taking made them fall out, and in yet another claiming that he had long planned to have them removed so as to obtain dentures. [10] After an expert examined autopsy photos and noted what he thought might be the imprint of a belt buckle on Byers' corpse, the elder Byers revealed to the police that he had spanked his stepson shortly before the boy disappeared. [10] He also had a 1988 conviction for terroristic threats that arose from an incident involving his ex-wife, Sandra Byers. [10] Melissa Byers had contacted Christopher's school a few weeks before the murders, expressing concerns that her son was being sexually abused. [10] A fact not revealed until after the trial was that John Mark Byers had acted as a police informant on several occasions. [10] His prior conviction for the 1988 incident had been expunged in May 1992, upon the completion of probation, despite the fact that other criminal charges against him should have caused the revocation of his probation."

What disturbs me is the plea deal said they have enough evidence to convict them again, they were already convicted before, but yet even with the mountain of evidence against the adoptive father (which seems to far outweigh the evidence that they had to convict the original 3) I doubt he will ever be charged or brought to trial.

spike78a
08-19-2011, 11:38 PM
They're called Alford Pleas. It says that they are not admitting guilt but they acknowledge that the state had enough evidence to convict them. Doesn't make any sense. It only further establishes that our justice system is garbage.
This is from the wiki page-

"The Knife of John Mark Byers (1993)ohn Mark Byers, the adoptive father of victim Christopher Byers, gave a knife to cameraman Doug Cooper, [35] who was working with documentary makers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky while they were filming the first Paradise Lost feature. The knife was a small utility-type knife, manufactured by Kershaw. [35][36] According to the statements given by Berlinger and Sinofsky, Cooper informed them of his receipt of the knife on December 19, 1993. After the documentary crew returned to New York, Berlinger and Sinofsky reported to have discovered what appeared to be blood on the knife. HBO executives ordered them to return the knife to the West Memphis Police Department. [37][38] The knife was not received at the West Memphis Police Department until January 8, 1994. [39] Byers initially claimed the knife had never been used. Blood was found on the knife and Byers then stated that he had used it only once, to cut deer meat. [40] When told the blood matched both his and Chris' blood type, Byers said he had no idea how that blood might have gotten on the knife. During interrogation, West Memphis police suggested to Byers that he might have left the knife out accidentally, and Byers agreed with this. [10] Byers later stated that he may have cut his thumb. Further testing on the knife produced inconclusive results, due in part to the rather small amount of blood, [10] and because both John Mark Byers and Chris Byers had the same HLA-DQα genotype. [41]ohn Mark Byers agreed to, and subsequently passed, a polygraph test during the filming of Paradise Lost 2: Revelations in regard to the murders, but the documentary indicated that Byers was under the influence of several psychoactive prescription medications that could have affected the test results. During the filming of the show, Byers also volunteered his false teeth when presented with the challenge he had bitten the boys' bodies, although at the time of the murders he had his original teeth, which he later had voluntarily extracted, and later claimed there was a medical reason for the procedure. Possible teeth imprints As documented in Paradise Lost 2, Echols, Misskelley and Baldwin submitted imprints of their teeth (after their imprisonment) that were compared to apparent bite-marks on Steve Branch's forehead, initially overlooked in the original autopsy and trial. No matches were found. According to the film, Byers had his teeth removed in 1997—after the first trial. He has offered apparently contradictory reasons for their removal: in one instance claiming they were knocked out in a fight, in another saying the medication he was taking made them fall out, and in yet another claiming that he had long planned to have them removed so as to obtain dentures. [10] After an expert examined autopsy photos and noted what he thought might be the imprint of a belt buckle on Byers' corpse, the elder Byers revealed to the police that he had spanked his stepson shortly before the boy disappeared. [10] He also had a 1988 conviction for terroristic threats that arose from an incident involving his ex-wife, Sandra Byers. [10] Melissa Byers had contacted Christopher's school a few weeks before the murders, expressing concerns that her son was being sexually abused. [10] A fact not revealed until after the trial was that John Mark Byers had acted as a police informant on several occasions. [10] His prior conviction for the 1988 incident had been expunged in May 1992, upon the completion of probation, despite the fact that other criminal charges against him should have caused the revocation of his probation."

What disturbs me is the plea deal said they have enough evidence to convict them again, they were already convicted before, but yet even with the mountain of evidence against the adoptive father (which seems to far outweigh the evidence that they had to convict the original 3) I doubt he will ever be charged or brought to trial.

the plea deal can say whatever it wants to it doesn't mean it's a accurate assessment of how strong there evidence or case is against the memphis 3. it's from there point of view.
yes there is evidence against the 3, but there is much stronger evidence that's on there side. infact it's so strong if there were a re-trial they would most likely win. the total lack of dna to connect the three to the crime and presence of the dna of the stepfather and his buddy at the crime scene would sway most jurors to the side of the defense.

Jettfire
08-19-2011, 11:43 PM
the plea deal can say whatever it wants to it doesn't mean it's a accurate assessment of how strong there evidence or case is against the memphis 3. it's from there point of view.
yes there is evidence against the 3, but there is much stronger evidence that's on there side. infact it's so strong if there were a re-trial they would most likely win. the total lack of dna to connect the three to the crime and presence of the dna of the stepfather and his buddy at the crime scene would sway most jurors to the side of the defense.

One quick but very important note: the stepfather Spike is referring to is not the same person that drunkmunky was referring to.

xSwamiJayx
08-20-2011, 09:04 AM
They're called Alford Pleas. It says that they are not admitting guilt but they acknowledge that the state had enough evidence to convict them. Doesn't make any sense. It only further establishes that our justice system is garbage.

**snip**

What disturbs me is the plea deal said they have enough evidence to convict them again, they were already convicted before, but yet even with the mountain of evidence against the adoptive father (which seems to far outweigh the evidence that they had to convict the original 3) I doubt he will ever be charged or brought to trial.

Thanks for the correction. I couldn't find the story where I had read it.

And yeah, the whole thing is ridiculous. The amount of evidence saying that the WM3 didn't do it is, and always has been, the biggest issue.

I have to believe that if the prosecutor REALLY had enough evidence to convict them, he would have let the retrial happen. But I think he knew that wasn't the case which is why the plea deal happened.