HOLD THOSE PUBLIC OFFICIALS WHO ABUSE THEIR POWER
IN THE WEST MEMPHIS THREE CASE ACCOUNTABLE NOW!!!
Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, Jr. of West West Memphis, Arkansas were wrongfully convicted of a triple homicide in 1994. Throughout the last eigteeen years, all three have maintained their innocence and fought consistently against what appears to be an alliance between the West Memphis, AR Police Dep't; Prosecutors Brent Davis and Guy Fogleman (now both ellected officials - judges to be more specific) and retired Judge David Burnette (now a State Senator in Arkansas).
Finally, after the Arkansas Supreme Court re-opened the case in 2010, an evidentiary hearing was set before a newly appointed Judge, David Laser, for December 2011. However, on August 19, 2011 a suprise hearing was held in Jonesboro - Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, Jr. were forced to plead guilty under North Carolina vs. Alford, which precedent states: “An individual accused of crime may voluntarily, knowingly, and understandingly consent to the imposition of a prison sentence even if he is unwilling or unable to admit his participation in the acts constituting the crime.”
Evidence of juror misconduct exists, which the State of Arkansas has not disputed, and which should entitle these three men to a new trial. However, rather than concede to try them again before an unbiased jury, Arkansas Attorney General, Dustin McDaniel's office has vowed to defend the finality of that verdict, in direct violation of his duty as an officer of the court, to protect the rights of the accused - not merely to obtain / support a conviction no matter what the cost!
Scott Ellington, Prosecuting Attorney for the Second Judicial District of the state of Arkansas specified that the State just dodged a major financial bullet by negating the possibility of a civil law suit for wrongful imprisonment, despite the fact that he knows the defendants would have more than likely been granted a new trial.
How is this justice, exactly? That is what we all would like to know! Yes, they are free but their reputations are ruined and they are now all in their thirties with little to no education and no recourse to sue the state for all the damage it has done! These politicians must be held accountable, NOW!!!
DOWNLOAD GRIEVANCE FORMS HERE: http://www.courts.state.ar.us/professional_conduct/
Author, Mara Leveritt, wrote to the Arkansas Supreme Court Office of Professional Conduct, questioning the propriety of these actions. Leveritt requested that the ASSC Disciplinary Committee file an official complaint for Professional Misconduct against McDaniel and Deputy Arkansas AG, David Raupp for knowingly supporting a jury verdict and death sentence, based on misconduct, which violated due process and the Defendants' rights to a fair trial.
The Committee Executive Director, Stark Ligon, has refused to address McDaniel's and his Associate, Raupp's violations, as of 7/7/11 . Like every other effort supporters of Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley have made, the Arkansas "justice" system is turning a blind eye to the demands of justice and effectively condoning the actions of a State's Attorney in it's employ which fly in the face of justice.
This petition will demonstrate that the eyes of the world are on Arkansas and that we expect hem to stop protecting their own at the expense of Damien, Jason and Jessie's Inalienable Civil Rights under the U.S. Constitution - not to mention the rights of the three innocent children who lost their lives, and whose killer(s) still roam(s) free!
The notion of fundamental fairness in the criminal justice system is a decidedly American concept and the State of Arkansas should not be permitted to ignore it any longer...
"Unlike defense counsel who may have obligations... to a client, , and constitutional mandates that are provided to an accused, the prosecutor serves as the representative of the sovereign." ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 1.6 (2003)
Prosecutors, as “ministers of justice,” have the obligation to seek truth. As stated in Giles v. Maryland, 386 U.S. 66, 98 (1967) (Fortas, J. concurring), “[t]he State's obligation is not to convict, but to see that, so far as possible, truth emerges".
"This is also the ultimate statement of its responsibility to provide a fair trial under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment... [r]egardless of the evidence against the accused, a prosecutor has an overriding duty of fairness." State v. Sha, 292 Minn. 182, 185 (1972).
A prosecutor’s duty is to make sure that defendants’ rights are protected and that convictions are based on sufficient evidence. ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 3.8 (Comment 1, 2003).