Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Gov. Mike Beebe will not pardon the West Memphis Three

Posted By on Tue, Oct 21, 2014 at 11:28 AM

FREE BUT NOT EXONERATED: The West Memphis Three at news conference on their release from prison in 2011. - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • FREE BUT NOT EXONERATED: The West Memphis Three at news conference on their release from prison in 2011.

Mara Leveritt writes on her blog
that Gov. Mike Beebe has responded to her request that he "exonerate" the West Memphis Three, convicted but released from prison on profession of innocence in the deaths of three West Memphis children in 1993.

Beebe says there's not time in the clemency process for him to consider such a request before he leaves office in January. Furthermore, the three —  Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley — have not requested clemency.

An online petition calling for pardons has been signed by almost 2,000 people. Writes Leveritt:

I emailed attorneys for Baldwin, Echols and Misskelley to ask why their clients had not sought clemency. John Philipsborn, Baldwin’s lead attorney, had no comment on that. However, he said that he, Baldwin and attorney Blake Hendrix “continue to investigate and work on the case with the aim of getting Jason further relief and exoneration.”

(After the recent petition went online, DeCample told reporter John Lyon of the Arkansas News Bureau that Beebe “continues to believe the appropriate place to seek exoneration of the men is the court system.”)

Misskelley attorney Jeff Rosenzweig, said: “If and when Baldwin and Echols were to make application, we would probably join in. Because of the nature of the Misskelley case, it is more appropriate that we be part of the group.”

Although Echols signed the petition at Change.org, his lead attorney, Stephen Braga, did not respond to the question about why he had not formally applied for a pardon.

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