West Memphis Three calling | Arkansas Blog

Monday, March 1, 2010

West Memphis Three calling

Posted By on Mon, Mar 1, 2010 at 12:24 PM

Supporters of the West Memphis Three gathered Saturday night for the CBS "48 Hours" episode on the case. I watched at home. It was an enlightening look at the shoddy prosecution. You may believe the three are guilty in the slaying of three children -- I don't -- but if you study the exculpatory detail amassed by their defenders, I don't see how you can believe that the verdict was properly proven. The utterly specious satanism testimony aggravates to this day. Not to mention the jury tampering.

Here's a summary of the watch party, for lack of a better description. It included a surprise call to the gathering from one of the three convicted in the case, Jason Baldwin.



Little Rock, AR- February 29, 2010) Over the weekend, 80 plus supporters and inquisitors gathered in Little Rock to watch CBS’s 48 Hours Mystery: A Cry For Innocence, a program on the Arkansas case of the West Memphis 3. The hour-long episode included interviews from well-known Hollywood Actor Johnny Depp along with Damien Echols, one of the man wrongfully imprisoned.  Echols’ wife Lorri Davis, who watched the program with the crowd at the Oyster Bar, also appeared in the 48 Hour feature. Arkansas Take Action (ATA), a group of local advocates dedicated to seeking justice for the three wrongfully convicted men, organized this and other events on the issue.
In 1993, Jessie Misskelley, Jason Baldwin and Damien Echols, known as the West Memphis 3, were arrested, charged and convicted for the brutal death of 3 young boys in West Memphis, AR. There was no scientific or forensic evidence pointing any guilt of the three. Instead, prosecutors relied on an error-riddled “confession,” community fears, and discredited “expert” witnesses to gain convictions. Most recently the case has garnered some national and international attention as famous actors, musicians and activists speak out against the wrongful convictions.
Local supporters were pleased with the great turnout for the event from both the national and local interest in the case. The gathering started with a screening of the Brian Quist documentary “Time for Truth”, which briefly summarizes the case and details recent forensic test results that prove the West Memphis 3 did not commit this crime. The group also heard from ATA member and event organizer John Hardin. “There are three kind of people gathered here in this room,” Hardin explained.
“…There are my fellow ATA members who know 100% that the West Memphis 3 are innocent. Then there are the majority of supporters that simply believe that these three at the very least deserve a fair trial. Finally, there are the skeptics. Those are the people I urge to do their own research and investigation. Because I am so convinced that when you look at the true facts of this case, you will come up on our side.”
Some 80 people intently watched the entire hour long 48 Hour segment, quieting themselves each time the commercials ended and the program resumed. The room remained packed as people watched while standing along the walls and sitting on the floor. “With the strong and growing local network of support, including the legal community, we are really looking forward to the court finally granting a new trial.” Lorri Davis said convincingly.
The crowd was also treated to a special and unplanned surprise when Jason Baldwin called the cell phone of friend and ATA member, Holly Ballard, from prison. With the phone pressed to the air, Holly reiterated Jason’s wishes to thank everyone for being there and for everyone’s support. The room erupted with applause and words of support and praise for Jason.
 48 Hours veteran Erin Moriarty is the lead correspondent for the piece. Among those interviewed are some parents of the victims, Echols and his wife Lorri Davis, Devil’s Knot author Mara Leveritt, local supporters, and actor Johnny Depp.

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Two dead in Camden plane crash

    Two men were killed in a private plane crash last night at the Camden Airport. Both were National Guardsmen but were not on military duty at the time.
    • Sep 26, 2017
  • Charter school critic praises tough assessment of LR school progress since 1957

    Diane Ravitch, a powerful voice against the billionaires trying to replace an egalitarian public education system with a fractured system of winners and losers segregated by race and income in private or privately operated schools, is giving a shoutout to Barclay Key of Little Rock for his review of Little Rock 60 years after the school crisis.
    • Sep 26, 2017
  • Did Jerry Jones find an exit strategy for player protests?

    Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys may have found an exit strategy for the growing controversy over player protests of racial inequities and Donald Trump's boorishness.
    • Sep 26, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Super Bowl line

    Over to you.
    • Feb 7, 2016
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017
  • In Little Rock, Marco Rubio sells American exceptionalism

    This is Rubio's axiomatic answer to Donald Trump's insistence that he and he alone will Make America Great Again: America is the greatest, always has been.
    • Feb 22, 2016

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation