Alright, let me get a few people angry, why not?
First, I will be honest and say that in 1993 when I was a young mother of a one year old, I thought they were guilty. I was angry, disgusted, sad and horrified at the thought that someone could do that to those beautiful little boys. Worse, I thought, if someone could do that to them in that little safe southern town, then surely the boogeyman could take my daughter and hurt her, too.
That’s why they screen jury pools before hand. So that nutty, slobbering and scared people like me are not allowed to make up their minds before the evidence is presented. Unfortunately for the so called ‘West Memphis Three’ that is exactly what did happen at their trials. Once I calmed down and began to watch the events that followed I started to think maybe someone down in Memphis was screwing up – or maybe the officials in charge of all the fairness had decided to chuck that part of their jobs and just adopt a ‘go with the mob’ mentality.
Anyone, and I mean anyone that reads the ‘evidence’ in this case starts to get that sideways, confused look. Like your dog gets when you look at him and make puppy whimpering sounds while you smile at him…you know ‘let’s drive Fido crazy making him think a baby pup is crying somewhere’ ha. ha. ha. Very funny. You scratch your head and talk to yourself, ‘what the…?’ is said more than once.
There is no evidence. I don’t mean it’s thin, I mean there is none. What is there, I will never be told otherwise – was manufactured or was presented by the prosecutor’s Uncle Billy/the state’s knife expert who wouldn’t know a knife pattern from a jack rabbit’s ass.
–crawling down from my soapbox–
So over the years I have tried to keep track of the many appeals and such that goes on when someone is on death row, as Damien Echols was. Supposed to be the ‘leader’ of this 3 boy (yes they were boys) satanic murdering ring, I found that he had grown up to be super intelligent, sensitive and I was glad that he had found (real) love and gotten married. It pissed me off though that he would probably never get to be a real husband to her because Tennessee was too proud to just stop all of the bullshit and admit that they had imprisoned 3 innocent men – and may kill one before it was all said and done.
Natalie Maines (Dixie Chicks) and Johnny Depp (Johnny freggin Depp) took an interest in the case and publicly demanded that Tennessee do just that- ball up and do this right. I was STUNNED when they didn’t give them another trial, instead they resurrected some nearly non-existent law that allowed them to just let them walk out of prision-but at the same time be able to go on t.v. and proclaim that ‘they still think they are the killers, and we KNOW we’d win at another trial…but we’re just going to open the doors and let them go. Right now. Thanks, bye!”
WHAT?? Are they high, down there in the state offices in Memphis? Is the office over-run with teenagers just making up rules as they go along?? Who did they think was going to hear this mess and go, “Oh, ok. That makes perfect sense and I believe you, that you would let 3 SATANIC MURDERERS OF LITTLE BOYS out instead of just giving them that new trial they are asking for.” That is just insane. Those people, the prosecutors, judges, all of them took a look inside of those old boxes and prepared to re-try them just to shut the very public… public up. And when they saw what the previous administration had left them with…I imagine they started googling ‘how to get our asses out of this mess’ and this little statute, used one time because it was created to be used for that one time special circumstance was the lesser of the evils that they had to choose from.
As I watched the press conference with the three men I felt so ashamed of my country for allowing this to go on this long. All of them were visibly uncomfortable – the press were just shouting over one another and blasting flashbulbs in their faces. It hit me that Damien had been in solitary confinement for nearly 18 years and this barrage of activity must be just terrifying for him. I’m sure this post will never be read by any of them-but on the off chance let me just say that as for me, I am sorry, deeply sorry that I ever thought they were guilty and that if it matters at all I was praying for a miracle. In my opinion, that’s exactly what happened!
Here are some links if anyone is interested in reading or re-reading/viewing what’s out there on this really amazing case.
Press Conference Part One the conference after they had been released
free the west memphis three website a LOT can be found and done from this site, links to the movies-every single article that ever came out ANYwhere can be linked to from here. Damien’s wife must have gotten ZERO sleep because she did the most through job of research that was humanly possible.