I dont know how many people on this board are familiar with the case of the West Memphis 3. In a nutshell, it's a case of 3 teens convicted of murder, serving life sentences (one on death row) with virtually ZERO evidence. I heard of the case a few months ago and just read "Devils Knot" which is a book documenting the proceedings and outcome of the case. The "west memphis three" as the boys have come to be know as have drawn support from celebs (Eddie Vedder, Henry Rollins, Jason Newsted) who have held benefit concerts and fund raisers to test DNA evidence and push for a new trial.
HBO has made 2 documentaries on the case (Paradis Lost and Paradise Lost II)
This case is IMHO the worst miscarriage of justice I have ever seen and I for one will be donating a significant amout of cash to the defense fund. Please take the time to watch these movies and do any research of your own to learn the facts of this case. This is not something I normally do, especially on a Jets board but after reading this book I've decided to become part of the many people trying to bring this case to the attention of any caring citizen.
never heard of it. Thanks for the info. I have one problem with their website. I clicked on the link under each pic called "update" They are trying to make prison out to be a bad place. HELLO? ( I feel like a Herm speach may be coming on) no s**t it supposed to be a bad place. That's why it's prison. (ok, I don't feel like a herm ranting). Anyway nice info, I may have to read more about their case.
I agree 100%, prison is supposed to be and should be a bad place but when you're making a case for being imprisoned wrongfully in the first place naturlly you're going to want to stress how rough of a life it is.
Been a WM3 supporter for years. In fact, I organized a WM3 fundraising concert a few years ago at the Lakeside Lounge, along with some of the supporters who appeared in the 2nd movie. We only raised about $800, but it's better than nothing. It's not looking good for them right now, I hate to say.
doesn't look good at all...I'm just keeping an eye on it after having read Devils knot. I donated a nice little chunk of change out of pocket which I usually don't do because I just flat out don't trust charaties. I check the web site pretty regularly and I was thinking about flying out there for any of the upcoming appeals in a show of support.
Here's a review from the Village Voice of the show we put together(I'm the mentioned Mike Dunn, but the writer gave me far too much credit for putting the show together. There were about 6 key people responsible, including Bill and Marcia, the two "Joisey" representatives from "Paradise Lost II." I guess I was the most quoteworthy.) Unfortunately, Sept. 11 happened shortly after that show and a lot of our group became sidetracked, including a few of us who lost people on that day.
It's good to see that there's somebody else on this board taking a genuine interest in this topic. I've worn my free the WM3 T-Shirts out a couple of times since getting it about a week ago and each time somebody has come up and asked me about the case. I think the more people learn about it, the better chance Damien, Jason, and Jessie have of being set free. No fair thinking person would consider convicting the three based on the (no) evidence against them.
Originally posted by AirForceJetFan@Dec 12 2003, 08:05 AM It's good to see that there's somebody else on this board taking a genuine interest in this topic. I've worn my free the WM3 T-Shirts out a couple of times since getting it about a week ago and each time somebody has come up and asked me about the case. I think the more people learn about it, the better chance Damien, Jason, and Jessie have of being set free. No fair thinking person would consider convicting the three based on the (no) evidence against them.
Originally posted by jets5ever+Dec 12 2003, 01:30 PM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (jets5ever @ Dec 12 2003, 01:30 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin--AirForceJetFan@Dec 12 2003, 08:05 AM It's good to see that there's somebody else on this board taking a genuine interest in this topic. I've worn my free the WM3 T-Shirts out a couple of times since getting it about a week ago and each time somebody has come up and asked me about the case. I think the more people learn about it, the better chance Damien, Jason, and Jessie have of being set free. No fair thinking person would consider convicting the three based on the (no) evidence against them.
Any theories as to who actually did it? [/b][/quote]
Thats the thing Jets5, there is no suspect who can be considered due to lack of evidence at the scene and that includes the 3 who were convicted.
--Paradise lost II really seems to point the finger at John Mark Byers, the father of one of the 8 year old victims. He continually changes his story as to why he had his teeth completely removed and false teeth put in. He not only lies about why it was done, but he also lies about when it was done. At one point in the movie he says that he had it done before or around the time of the murders when dental records show that the teeth were removed 4 years AFTER the murders occurred. This is significant because one of the victims had bite marks on his face. However, the state brought in one of their "experts" who said the bite marks were considered but ruled out despite the fact that nowhere in the coroners autopsy results is there any mention of bite marks being considered or ruled out coupled with failing to bill the state for bringing in an expert to analyze the bite marks. I can't think of too many people who do research and call in experts for assistance and "forget" to bill for it. So basically there is ZERO documentation to back up the claim that bite marks were ever considered.
--The judge who ruled over the original case also presided over the request for a new trial based on the fact that the bite marks were never mentioned but the judge sided with another state "expert" who claimed there was no bite mark present and it was actually a mark from being struck with a belt buckle. If you see the movie/pictures you'll see clearly that it was in fact a bite mark.
--Another possible suspect got off without anybody even knowing his identity due to botched police work. On the very night of the murders a fast food restaurant manager called the police to report a man who gone in to the ladies restroom covered in blood but he had left by the time the patrolwoman had responded. For some reason the partolwoman didnt see any reason to come inside and just asked a couple of questions at the drive through window. The next morning when detectives returned to the restaruant to actually go inside (what a novel idea) the manager gave them a pair of sunglasses he had found that were left by the man. There was blood on the sunglasses, a sample was taken and as the West Memphis police stated in their testimony, "the sample was never tested because we lost it"
There are some others if you care to read "Devils Knot" but as I said, there is not enough evidence to convict ANYBODY of this crime so why have a witch hunt and round up 3 teens and call them satanic devil worshippers "because they wear black T-shirts and may eventually get tattoos" (That was actual "expert" testiomony given at the trial used to "prove" the three being in a cult)
What about about Michael Skakel? They say he should be re-tried(at very the least) too.
There's plenty of innocent people in prison....why are these three receiving all this help? How did there case get thrown to forefront?
I think it's gotten more attention than most for a couple of reasons.
One reason being the ages of all involved. Three 8 year olds tragically murdered and three innocent teens paying the price.
LACK OF EVIDENCE....In some cases of those wrongfully convicted it's because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time (I'm not saying that makes it okay) and they get evidence pinned on them. In this case there was ZERO physical evidence and the contradictions made by the state in convicting these three boys is unreal. For example....the state claims that one of the boys bled to death but there was not a single drop of blood found at the scene. They claim that the killers splashed water from the river on to the banks to wash the blood away but there is no way they would be able to get all of the blood. Especially if the boys were killed in the dark as the prosecution says they were. There would be some blood at the scene. However, no blood, no fingerprints, no footprints..NOTHING!!!!
Also consider the fact that some of the very basic rules of medicine and law enforcement were ignored in this case. As I said in the earlier post about no documentation about the bite marks is gross ignorance in the medical field. I have a little experience in that particular field and you're told from day 1 that the golden rule in medicine is this..."If it's not documented, it didn't happen" but the medical examiner did not document autopsy findings that he used later in his testimony as having been done.
Law enforcement-- Any time a child is murdered, the top suspects right off the bat are those close to the child. Detectives are told to be sensitive to the familys situation but don't rule them out as suspects. This was done in the case of Mark Byers. He was a step father of one of the victims. He lied about his Alibi among other things. Why lie about where you were when it happened if you have nothing to hide?
When the cops got their "confession" from Jessie Misskelly they didn't bring him to the scene of the crime to show how/where everything occurred. That is common practice in law enforcement. As soon as you get somebody to admit something you bring them to the scene ASAP to get details. Not only did they fail to get Misskelly there ASAP, they didn't bring him at all. They just took his "confession" that was filled with holes and innacurate statements and ran with it.
IMHO these are some of the things that brought this case to the level it has despite others being wrongfully convicted as well. Our justice system is far from perfect but I personally find this to be the most disturbing I've ever heard of.
BTW...forgot to mention that prior to the judge ruling that the bite mark was in fact a "belt buckle mark" dental impressions were taken from all three convicted men....none of their impressions matched the marks on the face of the victim.
Oh, and Byers couldn't have been tested for teeth impression marks done for his all fell out(and according to Byers, there's about ten different reasons as to why they fell out). Yup, he has false teeth now.
Also, Byers at the time had a relationship with the WM police department as a paid informant on drug deals that they were busting.
In the years that followed, Byers was arrested a number of times, once for drugs, once for theft, once for beating a neighbors son with a belt buckle and once, you're not going to believe this, for inciting a KNIFE FIGHT between some teenagers.
The two things that burn me the most are the knife that Myers gave the filmmakers, and the supposed rituals. For those who don't know, Byers gave the filmmakers a hunting knife as a "present." The filmmakers noticed that there was blood on the knife and gave it to the WM police department to investigate. At first, Byers claimed that he had no idea how blood could've ended up on the knife. During the trial he contradicted that story by claiming that he had cut his thumb. Now here's the part that makes you shake your head the most. After the knife was given to the WM police department, they claimed in court that they had LOST THE BLOOD SAMPLE. If that doesn't sound fishy, then I don't know what does. You have a major murder case on your hand, with possibly the smoking gun in your possession and you LOSE THE EVIDENCE??? Please.
As for rituals, if you watch the two movies, you'll notice that the only person that has any interest in rituals is Byers. A fire on the graves of the dead? Shooting pumpkins that are meant to be the heads of the WM3? My lord, why he was never even considered is beyond me.
Actually Scott, the blood from the Byers knife was tested and the blood matched Byers' blood as well as his stepson Chris. Therefore the DNA evidence at the time had to be considered inconclusive. More advanced testing is expected from what I've read.
The blood that the WM police did lose was the blood off of the sunglasses left by the guy in the fast food restaurant who stumbled in there bleeding on the night of the murder and went in the ladies restroom leaving the glasses behind. The "cops" didn't come to get the sample until the following day and the as Gary Gitchell testified "we lost the sample"