Favorite

Only the guilty want closure in West Memphis Three case 

click to enlarge Damien Echols, Jesse Misskelley and Jason Baldwin on Aug. 19, 2011, the day they were release from prison image
  • Brian Chilson
  • Damien Echols, Jesse Misskelley and Jason Baldwin on Aug. 19, 2011, the day they were release from prison.

Scott Ellington, the prosecuting attorney for Arkansas's Second Judicial District, said in a recent interview that, "There are no ongoing investigations by governmental investigative authorities" concerning the West Memphis Three case.

Ellington may be the only person on the planet who believes there is "closure" in my case.

I have heard the word closure more than once. The first time was when I was told that the Arkansas attorney general suggested that the State Supreme Court justices reject the appeal of my death penalty, because "we all need closure on the West Memphis Three case." It was easy for him to seek closure, of course; he was not sitting in solitary confinement on death row for a crime he did not commit.  Thankfully, the Supreme Court did not listen and ruled unanimously to review our wrongful convictions.

No one wants closure more than me, Jason Baldwin, Jessie Misskelley and the families of the murdered children. I for one am tired of reliving the horror of my arrest, wrongful conviction and the 18 long years, dying every day in an isolated cell, waiting to be executed. And while the Alford plea almost three years ago enabled us to be released, we neither were exonerated nor were the real killer(s) brought to justice. We continue to fight for both.

Now with the opening of "Devil's Knot," the latest film on this tragedy, some are once again calling for closure. After all, aren't four documentaries, a feature film, books, numerous network television features, hundreds of newspaper and magazine stories, blogs, bloggers, websites and God knows how many tweets on the murders of the three boys, enough? I guess not. People are still compelled by this story and want answers to the many lingering questions surrounding the case. True closure won't happen until those questions are answered.

Unfortunately, there has been little cooperation from the authorities. We have tried through the U.S. federal court in Washington, D.C., to obtain case files and records of forensic testing performed by the FBI at the request of the West Memphis Police Department during the initial investigation of this case. Incredibly, the FBI says that it cannot find those records. There is nothing, however, to prevent the state of Arkansas from making public its own records of correspondence with — and testing results from — the FBI's investigation into the murders. Indeed, in order to really bring closure to the West Memphis Three case and to help provide answers to the many questions about this case, including who really killed the three boys that dreadful day 21 years ago, the State of Arkansas should simply open up all of its investigative and forensic files on this case. The sunlight of public disclosure and inspection of those files will help to shine a light on the truth here.

Finally, along with the state of Arkansas opening up its investigative files, DA Scott Ellington should keep his promise to review new evidence given to him by my defense team in a meaningful manner, and he should avoid giving comfort to the real killer and discouraging new witnesses from coming forward by proclaiming that the case is "closed."

Damien Echols was released from death row in Arkansas in August of 2011. He and his wife, Lorri Davis, live in New York City.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Speaking of West Memphis Three, Damien Echols

Comments (270)

Showing 1-25 of 270

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-25 of 270

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Schlafly's influence

    Phyllis Schlafly, mother, attorney and longtime antifeminist, died recently. What Schlafly promoted was not novel or new. Men had been saying that men and women were not equal for years. However, anti-feminism, anti-women language had much more power coming from a woman who professed to be looking out for the good of all women and families.
    • Sep 15, 2016
  • Seven

    The controversy over the Ten Commandments monument on the Capitol lawn just won't go away.
    • Feb 9, 2017
  • Why a change of leadership at the LRSD now?

    Johnny Key's abrupt, unilateral decision to not renew Baker Kurrus' contract as superintendent strikes us as shortsighted, misguided and detrimental to the education of our children and the health of our community.
    • Apr 21, 2016

Most Shared

  • 'Cemetery angel' Ruth Coker Burks featured in new short film

    Ruth Coker Burks, the AIDS caregiver and activist memorably profiled by David Koon as the cemetery angel in Arkansas Times in 2015, is now the subject of a short film made by actress Rose McGowan.
  • Buyer remorse

    Out here in flyover country, you can't hardly go by the feed store without running into a reporter doing one of those Wisdom of the Heartland stories.
  • Not Whitewater

    Just think: If Democrats had turned out 78,000 more votes in three states in November, people could be reveling today in the prospect of impeaching and convicting President Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump, as some Republican lawmakers had promised to try to do if she won.
  • Head-shaking

    Another edition of so-much-bad-news-so-little space.

Latest in Guest Writer

  • Pay attention

    If anyone thinks that a crisis with the Power Ultra Lounge shooting, then he hasn't been paying attention to Little Rock.
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • War reporter

    Ray Moseley: Native Texan. Naturalized Arkansan. Reporter, world traveler, confidant of Queen Elizabeth II.
    • Jun 22, 2017
  • Vote no on school tax

    I have never voted against a school tax in my life, but I will be voting against the debt service millage extension for the Little Rock School District.
    • May 4, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

July

S M T W T F S
  1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Buyer remorse

    Out here in flyover country, you can't hardly go by the feed store without running into a reporter doing one of those Wisdom of the Heartland stories.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Buyer remorse

    • Oh, my - I don't hate Hillary Clinton - I feel she is damaged goods…

    • on July 28, 2017
  • Re: Buyer remorse

    • IBS, you're from Chicago, right? Hillary's from Chicago. Your monomania against Hillary is puzzling and…

    • on July 27, 2017
  • Re: Buyer remorse

    • When we had not one but TWO shit candidates running for president, is it really…

    • on July 27, 2017
 

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