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Jan 7, 2007
Focus: Death Penalty
Action Request: Petition
Location: United States

The West Memphis Three were convicted of the triple homocide of three 8-year old boys that took place in West Memphis, Arkansas on May 5, 1993.

Jessie Misskelley Jnr was sentenced to life +40 years, Jason Baldwin to life without parole and Damien Echols was sentenced to death by lethal injection.

There was no physical evidence, murder weapon, motive, or connection to the victims presented at either of the trials and the facts that emerged are as follows:
- Jessie Misskelley has an IQ of 72, was subjected to 12 hours of interrogation without a family or legal representative present. Very little of the interrogation was recoreded.
- After giving several times for the murders, Jessie was suggestively led to the actual time of
 the murders and ultimately to a confession.
- Jessie recanted his confession a few hours later but this was disregarded by authorities
- The West Memphis police contaminated the crime scene by not cordoning it off (the Chief
  Investigator, Gary Gitchall was even seen smoking a cigarette well within the perimeter area)
- The WM police failed to accurately document or take notes of the crime scene
- It appears & was even testified to by one of the WM detectives that much of the evidence
  that was actually collected was lost or 'inadvertantly' destroyed.
- Officer Regina Meek received a call to investigate a man in the ladies restroom of a nearby  Bojangles restaurant. According to the manager of the restaurant, the black man was muddy, bleeding and mumbling, but Meek simply drove through the restaurant's drive-through window without getting out to even take a look.
- Two detectives went back to the restaurant the next day but went in to the ladies restroom wearing the clothes they had been wearing earlier that day when pulling the victims bodies up the embankment. Therefore whatever evidence may have been there was ultimately contaminated.
- Blood scrapings were taken from the restroom but Detective Bryn Ridge later testified that he had 'lost' them.
- A piece of dark clothing was taken from the clutches of one of the young victims but this too was lost, this time during the autopsy examinations.
- The bodies of the victims were never examined by a 'board-certified' medical examiner.
- Human blood found on a hunting knife given to the filmmakers of 'Paradise Lost' by one of the victims step-father's; John Mark Byers was only given a cursory blood examination which only showed the blood type and was then ruined for any further testing. The results showed that the blood type matched both one of the victims, Christopher Byers as well as the knife's owner, John Mark Byers. Christopher Byers was the victim who was castrated, repeately stabbed and seemed to be the focus of the attacks. However the court ruled this evidence inconclusive.
Many investigators have also noticed a conspicuous lack of blood in Robin Hood Hills where the bodies were found. This strongly suggests to experienced investigators that the murders took place elsewhere and that the wooded area was simply the dump site.
- Adult human bitemarks were also overlooked in the original investigation. Later, bite impressions were taken from all the WM3 and a forensic odontologist concluded that none of their impressions matched those found on at least one of the victim's bodies.
- Almost five years after the murders, the first board certified medical examiner, forensic pathologist and forensic odontologist to ever examine the victims did so by looking at the autopsy photographs. They testified during Damien Echols' Rule 37 hearing that the three young men who are currently serving prison sentences for this murder could not possibly be responsible for the bite marks seen in the victim photographs.

Is anyone else starting to see a pattern appear here? These boys (now all around 30) have been incarcerated for almost 13 years based upon their preference for heavy metal music, black clothes, Stephen King novels and the Satanic Panic of a traditional southern religious city.

It is a tragedy that the lives of these three 8-year old boys was dramatically cut short by the events of May 5, 1993 but the West Memphis Three were arrested, tried and convicted of an offence with no physical evidence and the testimony that detectives had never handled a case of this magnitude, lost or destroyed evidence and even had an 'Occult Expert' who received his degree from a mail-order college and believed that wearing black, heavy metal music and dying hair black were all tell-tale signs of being a Satanist and/or belonging to a cult.

I have put together this 'share' to enlighten those to the plight of these three young men. Please help support their efforts and the efforts of their legal teams to continue the fight for justice and freedom.

All the facts detailed above are taken from the synopsis written by Burt Sauls and this and further information relating to the West Memphis Three can be found by visiting
www.wm3.org.

Please continue to enlighten others to the injustice and travesty that is the trial of the West Memphis Three by emailing others via the 'Free the West Memphis 3' Email Awareness Campaign. You can find the link by going to the WM3 website then clicking the 'How To Help' link.

In addition, please take the time to sign the 'Support a new trial for the West Memphis 3' petition in the 'Petitions" section of Care2Connect.

Changing any major injustice in the world takes more than one person, one voice or one question but consider this: Bad things happen because good people do nothing!

Visibility: Everyone
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Posted: Jan 7, 2007 4:52am

 

 
 
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.

Author

Kelly M.
, 3, 4 children
Flagstaff Hill, Adelaide, SA, Australia
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