Monday, December 31, 2007

Paradise Lost (WM3) Update!

Those of you who have not seen Paradise Lost parts 1 & 2 should probably do so immediately. From directors Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, these are two of the best documentaries highlighting the injustice of the American legal system. In them, three young men from Arkansas, known as the West Memphis Three (or WM3), were convicted in the brutal homicide of three eight-year-old boys. The prosecutor's evidence? Black Metallica t-shirts, a love for Stephen King and Anne Rice and notebooks filled with demented poetry. If you think that all this combined could never be enough to sentence the WM3 to life in prison without parole or even death, you would be wrong.

For the last 15 years, Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin have been serving life in prison without parole. And alleged 'ringleader' Damien Echols has been isolated on death row. It took two documentaries and a wonderful book entitled "Devil's Knot" to chronicle how absurd this whole case has been, but even then, the officials in Arkansas have done nothing to overturn the bogus sentences. Their reason: Too many political careers have been built up on the case. Even former Arkansas governor and presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee turned a blind eye to the gross injustice happening under his very nose.

Well, it looks like the case has taken a major turn in recent months. New DNA evidence proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the WM3 could *NOT* be responsible for the murders. Ironically, the only person implicated by the murders is Terry Hobbs, one of the stepfathers of the murdered 8-year-olds. Forensics experts found one of his hairs in the shoelace of one of the boys who was not his stepson.

While several news programs have covered the most recent developments in the case, the most comprehensive was a special that ran on Larry King Live two weeks ago. On December 19th, Larry King interviewed Damien Echols on death row. I think readers who are close to the case might enjoy this despite King's 'I do zero research' approach to interviews.

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


Part 4


Part 5


Part 6


Part 7


Part 8


My favorite part of the whole special would have to be the interview with John Mark Byers. In both Paradise Lost documentaries, he would launch into extended tirades about how the Damien Echols and his co-defendents were going to burn in hell with their master, "The Satan." Now he's just as eager to pin the murders on Terry Hobbs today as he was the WM3 15 years ago.

I am hoping Sinofsky and Berlinger will have a third documentary out shortly after the WM3 are freed. If the Arkansas government can finally admit they were wrong, that is.

16 Comments:

Blogger nikkiluvsez said...

Thank you for posting this. Do you know when Devil's Knot the movie is going to be out. I've searched the internet all over and it just says announced. That's actually how I found you.

2:47 AM  
Blogger Joe Scott said...

I believe they are waiting on the case to end. So either the WM3 will have to be freed from prison or Damien Echols will be executed. Until then, the movie doesn't have a finale, so the financiers are planning to wait it out. Kinda sick that they are waiting, since the movie could spread awareness on the subject, but that's the business I guess.

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