Damien Echols' statement on plea deal | Arkansas Blog

Friday, August 19, 2011

Damien Echols' statement on plea deal

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 12:30 PM

BEFORE HEARING: Damien Echols with attorneys before todays hearing.
  • BEFORE HEARING: Damien Echols with attorneys before today's hearing.
Damien Echols, freed from Death Row in today's West Memphis Three plea bargain, released the following statement today:

To all my friends and family, my attorneys and advocates, and to those of you from every corner of this earth who have stood beside us these long years, please know that I will forever be indebted to all of you for helping me to become a free man. Each and every day I was the beneficiary of acts of kindness and humanity from people of all walks of life, of all ages, nationalities, religions and political persuasions. The enormity of the support Lorri and I received throughout this struggle is humbling.

I have now spent half my life on death row. It is a torturous environment that no human being should have to endure, and it needed to end. I am innocent, as are Jason and Jessie, but I made this decision because I did not want to spend another day of my life behind those bars. I want to live and to continue to fight for our innocence. Sometimes justice is neither pretty nor is it perfect, but it was important to take this opportunity to be free.

I am not alone as there are tens of thousand of men and woman in this country who have been wrongfully convicted, forced into a false confession, sentenced to death or a lifetime in prison. I am hopeful that one day they too will be able stand with their friends and family to declare their innocence.

This whole experience has taught me much about life, human nature, American justice, survival and transcendence.

I will hopefully take those lessons with me as I embark on the next chapter in my journey and along the way look forward to enjoying some of those simple things in life like spending Christmastime, Halloween and my birthday with those I love.

TOGETHER: Damien Echols and his wife, Lorri Davis, together in free world for first time.
  • TOGETHER: Damien Echols and his wife, Lorri Davis, together in free world for first time.

At a news conference afterward, Echols paid tribute to his wife Lorri Davis for her work in seeking his freedom. They met and married while he was in prison and, until recently, all meetings with Death Row inmates, by family members or not, had to be conducted with participants on either side of a glass window. At the news conference, Echols embraced Jason Baldwin, who refused a deal to testify against Echols in their 1994 trial and who joined the plea deal on Echols' behalf though he objected to being forced to plead guilty.

BEFORE THE HEARING: Baldwin (glasses) and Misskelley.
  • BEFORE THE HEARING: Baldwin (glasses) and Misskelley.

Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (143)

Showing 1-50 of 143

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-50 of 143

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • ASU announces $29 million athletic project backed by private booster foundation

    The Arkansas State University Board of Trustees today approved a ground lease with the Red Wolves Foundation which will take the responsibility for building $29. million worth of improvements to the football stadium.
    • Nov 20, 2017
  • Monday's open line

    Here's the Monday open line and today's news roundup
    • Nov 20, 2017
  • Protest set on tax legislation

    A coalition of groups will demonstrate at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday in front of the state Human Services headquarters at Seventh and Main to show displeasure with the Senate tax legislation.
    • Nov 20, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Monday's open line

    • I personally find the whole "Personhood for fetuses" absolutely absurd. How stupid to insert it…

    • on November 20, 2017
  • Re: Vox pop: Mixed response to Capitol monument proposals

    • Here is a good news for those interested. There is away you can earn money…

    • on November 20, 2017
  • Re: Protest set on tax legislation

    • I am sorry about the debit to your grandchildren Razor, but if the GOP majority…

    • on November 20, 2017

Blogroll

 

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