Voices for Justice: A Rally in Support of the West Memphis 3
Crucial new evidence of their innocence has been uncovered, including crime scene DNA that absolves the three young men and points to others. Some of the country’s leading pathologists have found that much of the forensic evidence presented to the jury, which helped convict the young men, was false and not consistent with the cause of death or wounds found on the bodies. And recently, a sworn affidavit was presented to the court from a prominent former Arkansas prosecutor stating that, during the original Echols/Baldwin trial, the jury foreman repeatedly contacted the attorney informing him that he was introducing Jessie Misskelley’s false confession during deliberations to persuade his fellow jurors to convict. Jessie’s confession was barred from the trial as he had recanted and refused to testify against Damien and Jason. This structural defect in the proceedings should be sufficient cause to overturn their convictions. Three new eyewitnesses have also come forward and filed sworn affidavits with the court identifying Terry Hobbs as the last person to have custody of the three children immediately before their disappearance and murder.
The Arkansas Supreme Court has reopened the case by granting Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley a new evidnetairy hearing to review all evidence of their innocence: DNA, forensic, new witnesseses, etc. A status conference was held before Judge David Laser in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Motions are expected to be filed by mid-February.
Concurrently, the Arkansas Supreme Court is reviewing Jason Baldwin’s and Jessie Misskelley’s Rule 37 request for a new trial based upon ineffective legal counsel. This cause of action was denied by Circuit Court Judge David Burnett in October 2009. See interview with Jason Baldwin.