"Three men convicted of killing three 8-year-old Cub Scouts and dumping their bodies in an Arkansas ditch were freed from nearly two decades in prison Friday, after they agreed to plead guilty to secure the release of one of them from death row.
Under the plea bargain, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley were being freed immediately. The boys' families were notified about the pact ahead of time but were not asked to approve it.
The defendants, known by their supporters as the West Memphis 3, agreed to a legal maneuver that lets them maintain their
innocence[ the "Alford defense"] while acknowledging prosecutors have enough evidence against them."
(men??? they were teenage boys when they were arrested.)
basically to get damien echols off death row the other two defendants, jason baldwin and jessie misskelley, agreed to plead guilty via the Alford defense- meaning they admit only that the prosecution had enough evidence to convict them although they maintain their innocence.
last year DNA evidence (that was never tested at the time of the trial, a fact that for years was ignored by the appeals judge who was also the original trial judge) cleared all three of any involvement in the murders of steve branch, christopher byers and michael moore in may of 1993. the only physical evidence found on the bodies matched instead the step-father of one of the decedents.
a post modern witch hunt born of the satanic child murder mythology of the 1980s that has ruined countless innocent lives. and the greatest tragedy is that the actual killer has gotten away completely with the craven ,depraved murder of three children and that these three now men will still be viewed by some as the guilty ones in defiance of reason and actual physical evidence- not circumstantial evidence or fabricated, coerced guilt.
today is the anniversary of the execution of the defendants in the salem witch trials- august 19th 1692.
"It were better that Ten Suspected Witches should escape, than that one Innocent Person should be Condemned"-increase mather, 1692.