Pardon the West Memphis Three
This petition had 2,114 supporters
In 1994, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley were wrongfully convicted of a triple homicide in West Memphis, Arkansas. For sixteen years, all their appeals had been denied. On September 30th, 2010, oral arguments were heard for Damien in Little Rock and on November 4th, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that all three men would be given the chance to present new evidence before Judge David N. Laser at an evidentiary hearing in Jonesboro, Arkansas, on December 5th, 2011.
On August 19, 2011, Baldwin, Echols and Misskelley were released from prison. Their freedom was based upon a plea agreement with Craighead County prosecutor Scott Ellington, in which, while maintaining their innocence, the three agreed to an Alford plea to the original charges. They were released based upon time served. The three men appeared before Judge David N. Laser, in Craighead County Court in Jonesboro, Arkansas. As part of the plea agreement, Damien Echols capital murder conviction was vacated.
Ellington openly admitted that the State had little or no chance of securing the same guilty verdicts which were handed down in 1994, should the men be retried. He stated “I believe that allegations of misconduct on behalf of a juror in the Echols-Baldwin trial would likely result in a new trial being ordered either by the circuit court or federal court. I further believe it would be practically impossible to put on a proper case against the defendants in this particular case after eighteen years of extended litigation.”
These men are innocent of the crimes they were convicted of and should be exonerated and given a full pardon so as they may be relieved of the stigma the State has attached to them as they, and their families, attempt to rebuild their lives.
Thank you all very much for your participation and ongoing support.
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