West Memphis 3

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Have any of you heard of the West Memphis 3? Three young boys were killed in a small town in Alabama, three teens were tried and convicted, though there really was NO evidence that proved they had done it. One teen gave a statement, telling the officers what they wanted to hear, implicated himself because he thought it was what they wanted to hear. He pretty much functioned like a five or six yo, even though he was a teen. his statement, and a bunch of other mis-handled or made up evidence landed one boy on death row and the other two in prison for life.

    Now they are finally free. It has gotten a lot of attention, including having at least 2 episodes of 48 Hours all about the case. Major celebrities such as Johnny Depp, Natalie Maines and Eddie Vetter learned about it and worked for many years to free them, they got out using a little known legal loophole called an Alford plea - you maintain your innocence put accept a guilty verdict, but are still trying to get the guilty verdict overturned. One of the 3 refused the plea, and it was all or nothing, until he realized that his friend might actually be killed if he didn't go with the plea.

    I have watched some of the many things about this. There is just a huge amount of evidence that these three men didn't do it, but mostly were convicted because they were different. I am glad they are out, and hope that they eventually are totally cleared. Even most of the parents believe that they are innocent - the victim's parents. One parent believes they are guilty, but he has refused to even look at the evidence. His ex, the boy's mother, is totally sure that the 3 are innocent.

    I think this hit me hard because I can see so many of our difficult children in their place. Wiz used to sneak out and go for long walks in the middle of the night. He wasn't out to hurt anyone or do anything wrong. he only stopped when a police officer explained that if a crime was committed while Wiz was out walking, Wiz could be convicted of it pretty easily, or at least given a really hard time about it. I spent a LOT of nights worried that something like this would happen and Wiz would end up in jail, innocent, but there partly because he made stupid statements that he meant as jokes or sarcasm but that others took as admissions of guilt or bragging about having committed whatever crime.

    Are any of you aware of this? Any thoughts on the entire issue? It was back when the media was pushing all that satanic cult stuff and the prosecutor actually used an expert witness on the stand who testified that it was a satanic ritual that the boys were killed during. But the expert had a mail order phd, had never really spoken to a satanist, and what he said was clear evidence of torture was post mortem damage done by animals. Even with SIX experts in forensics, this was still not considered reason for a new trial.

    I still think our legal system is better than most, but this case illustrates many of the serious flaws in it. I am glad the men are out, and hope they are cleared of all charges soon. I pray that none of our difficult children ever ends up in that situation. I pray hard about that.

    Here is a link to the latest 48 hours episode - it covers the basics and up to shortly after they were released from prison. http://www.cbs.com/primetime/48_hours/video/?play=true&pid=nntIudcXrKrqawSloXRJzqsYSycxfO9M
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I have heard of it but don't know all the details. All I know is that one issue is who killed the person and another issue is whether or not is was a racial killing,.
  3. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I just watched an HBO documentary on this last week; they actually did two of them. "Paradise Lost" and "Paradise Lost 2." (I watched 2.) Both are on Comcast OnDemand right now in my area. I read that they're working on a third documentary now, I assume to bring this up to date. It definitely seems like a gross miscarriage of justice. Plus, the stepfather of one of the boys killed, is absolutely insane. Not saying he had anything to do with the murders, but, my jaw was on the floor just watching the interviews with him.

    I'm not aware of any racial undertones, since the boys were white and so were the accused killers. They didn't address that in the documentaries, at least. The accused were labeled as being "satanists" however, which added fuel to the fire back then when "satanic cults" were accused of all sorts of alleged atrocities. Back then "Wiccan" was equated with "Satanist." Sad.