Thursday, August 25, 2011

On the release of the West Memphis Three

In 1993 three eight-year-old boys were found dead in a muddy creek in West Memphis, a small town in eastern Arkansas.  The discovery of their bodies led to hysterical allegations of satanic rituals and eventually resulted in the arrest and trial of three other kids.  Their case became famous in part because of an outstanding documentary called Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills.

One of the kids confessed but then recanted; the others always maintained their innocence.  At their trials very little evidence was brought forward to connect them to the murders but they were all convicted. 

Having served more than 18 years in prison, all three were released last week when, after years of appeals, the state of Arkansas accepted a rare plea by the three men (now in their 30s).  They were sentenced to time served and released immediately.

A lot has been written about this development in the case over the past few days.  You can google "West Memphis Three" for lots of information.  (By the way, did you know "google" is now a verb?)  

Also, here is a link to a podcast  from the Legal Talk Network discussing the case. 

If you have not seen the documentary, you really should.

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