Friday, June 3, 2011

LRFF: Media and the West Memphis Three

Posted By on Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Following yesterday's showing of "Voices for Justice," a short film by Mike Poe that premiered at the West Memphis Three benefit last August, our own Lindsey Millar hosted a panel discussion on "The Media and the West Memphis Three" at the Argenta Community Theater. The discussion featured Joe Berlinger (director of the "Paradise Lost" films), Mara Leveritt (author of the book "Devil's Knot"), Capi Peck (founding member of the WM3 advocacy group Arkansas Take Action) and Lorri Davis (wife of Damien Echols). Panelists touched on a number of issues including early news coverage of the case (would you believe most media outlets were a little biased against the WM3?), the reaction to the "Paradise Lost" documentaries here in Arkansas and the movement that has built up around the case over the years.

If you've followed the case closely, then there wasn't a whole lot that you haven't heard before. However, there were a number of insightful comments and even some new information that we'd never run across. We've attempted to include most of that in the video above. For example, Berlinger said that when he and co-director Bruce Sinofsky started the project, their original intention was to make a film about disturbed teenagers who committed a terrible crime. Berlinger said until he got to know the kids involved and learned more about the evidence (or lack thereof) he, like everyone else, thought they were absolutely guilty. Finally, he called HBO and told the higher-ups, "These guys are innocent."

Berlinger also talked about the practice, decided upon during the filming of the first documentary, of paying the families they were interviewing. He says they realized they were making money off of families who didn't know where their next meal was coming from and made the decision to give the families of the victims and the defendants $7,500 each. He said he felt it was the right decision to make at the time, but he would not do it again. Also, stay tuned to the end of the video to hear how he and Sinofsky were able to get cameras into the courtroom. It's something Berlinger said he has never talked about before in public.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Gerard Matthews

Readers also liked…

  • Federal judge wants John Goodson to explain class action maneuvering

    A show-cause order filed Monday by federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith indicates class action attorney John Goodson has some explaining to do about the move of a class action complaint against an insurance company from federal to state court with an instant pre-packaged settlement that has been criticized as a windfall for Goodson.
    • Dec 22, 2015
  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016
  • John Goodson and others add lawyers for hearing on forum shopping

    Lawyers facing federal court sanctions for forum shopping a class action insurance case have brought in new legal guns from out of state to fight potential sanctions.
    • May 26, 2016

Most Shared

  • Hutchinson lobbyist moves to Teacher Retirement System

    Rett Hatcher, director of legislative affairs for Gov. Asa Hutchinson, has left the governor's staff to go to work Wednesday as deputy director of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System.
  • Obamascare

    Republicans at long last may be about to see their most fervent wishes and wildest predictions materialize — millions of people losing their medical and hospital coverage, unaffordable insurance, lost jobs, a Medicare financial crisis, mushrooming federal budget deficits and fiscal crises across state governments.
  • Megyn vs. Alex

    As vigorously hyped broadcast events go, Megyn Kelly's televised confrontation with internet conspiracy cultist Alex Jones proved something of a dud.

Blogroll

 

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