Sunday, August 28, 2011

Discordia Springs West Memphis Three From Prison!


But is there really any other explanation? For something like twenty years, through a very tense trial, all kinds of public protest and close to TWO DECADES of appeals, there still was no end in sight. Damien Echols was still on Death Row and his friends, Jason Baldwin and Jesse Misskelley, were still looking at life in the big house. They'd protested over and over that the only evidence against them was a confession gotten out of a mentally slow kid who was being questioned by the police without an attorney, his parents or anyone else to protect his rights.

(For 16 hours.)

95% of that confession, they argued, did not fit the facts known from the crime scene. But the jury didn't like the defendants' Goth tastes, or their unsavory companions, and they especially disliked the fact that they were big fans of Metallica. What followed was essentially a 20-year-long shouting match, with the defendants saying "WE'RE INNOCENT!" and the courts saying "WE DON'T NEED EVIDENCE -- WE DON'T LIKE YOUR HAIRCUTS AND YOU'RE GOING DOWN FOR IT!" Now, this is the SEAMY UNDERSIDE of a legal system in which you can still catch Eris putting her thumb on the Scales of Justice. YOU STILL DON'T NEED EVIDENCE TO CONVICT SOMEONE OF A CRIME. This not only robs the families of those 3 little boys of real closure, but it also totally screws over 3 other people who had NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.

And, of course, if the scenario laid out above is correct, the real killer, or killers, got clean away.

So how did these guys finally get to go home?

THEY PLEADED GUILTY. That's right! Proetsting their innocence landed them in prison for life. Pleading guilty allowed them to go home on the basis of TIME SERVED.

It swells my heart with pride, AND MORE THAN A LITTLE FEAR, to realize at a moment like this that ERIS NEVER SLEEPS. She watches over us eternally, and you NEVER KNOW WHEN SHE WILL FAVOR YOU. Possibly with a free trip to Death Row. There are several million stories in the prison system; this has been just one of them.

Watch your back, people. No matter which side of the law you're on.

I know this turn of events must be devastating to the parents of the 3 little boys -- Steve Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore. I think often of those three families, and continue to support them in my heart, long-distance. Another of the many ironies here is that I know about this case, and continue to get bulletins and reminders about it, only because of the angry supporters of Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley. Chris Byers's mom died, apparently of grief, not that long after her son's murder, and I guarantee you it hasn't been that much easier for the others, either. I truly hope they get justice and some sort of relief for their pain.


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