Questions Raised About West Memphis Convictions

by TChris

Jessie Misskelley and two others were convicted of the gruesome murders and mutilations of three 8 year old boys in West Memphis in 1993. A reporter and a lawyer are raising serious questions about their guilt.

[Attorney Daniel] Stidham contends Misskelly had the I.Q. of a 5-year-old and was told by police what to say though hours of interrogations. "It's not really difficult to get someone mentally handicapped to confess to something they didn't do," says Stidham.

Police called the murders a satanic ritualistic homicide. Stidham says Misskelly, who was labeled a Satan worshiper, didn't even know who Satan was. Stidham is calling for a new trial for his clients.

He says, "We now know there's no such thing as a satanic ritualistic homicide, we now know that false confessions do happen. Back in 1993, no one understood that." ...

Stidham says in the past 13 years, more evidence has surfaced and witnesses have retracted their statements. He believed his clients will be free if jurors can hear the case again.

Stidham says he also believes West Memphis police mishandled the crime scene and never found any forensic evidence. He also believes a serial killer murdered the boys.

< High School Student Faces Deportation | Immigration Compromise Bill Fails in Senate >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Thanks for creating this important thread. I have always thought that what happened to the West Memphis Three was tantamount to a modern day witch hunt and part of the "Satanic Panic" that hit the U.S. and abroad during the late 80's and early 90's. (I read "The Devil's Knot" and watched the two documentaries on the case. I have even written to Damien Echols in the past, offering to help out with his appeal in any way that a freelance paralegal could). What happened to those murdered boys was horrible. But what happened to Damien, Jesse and Jason was horrible, too.

    Re: Questions Raised About West Memphis Conviction (none / 0) (#2)
    by HK on Sat Apr 08, 2006 at 02:21:45 PM EST
    Too often the public believes that every person on death row is there because there was an ironclad case against them. This is simply not true. Of course there are guilty people there, but so many have been convicted on circumstantial evidence, shaky confessions or false testimony from jailhouse informants. BTW, the "Satanic Panic" hit the UK in the form of children being taken away from their parents due to suspected abuse. As far as I'm aware, none of this was ever proven. The evidence against one set of innocent parents was two lollypop sticks tied together in the shape of a cross and a vessel containing holy water found in their house. (They were Catholics.) Accurately applied psychology is one thing, but psychobabble in the place of facts and common sense is unacceptable and leads to poor decisions. In West Memphis, a crime actually did occur, so not only does it seem that innocent people were wrongly accused, but in this case, the real perpetrator(s) may well have gone free.