Damien Echol’s attorneys will present oral arguments before the Arkansas State Supreme Court at 9am on Thursday, September 30th.
The West Memphis 3 is the name given to three teenagers who were tried and convicted of the murders of three children in West Memphis Arkansas in 1993. Damien Echols was sentenced to death, Jessie Misskelley, Jr. was sentenced to life in prison plus 40 years and Jason Baldwin was sentenced to life in prison.
The case has received considerable attention. Their supporters believe the arrest and convictions were a miscarriage of justice and the defendants were wrongfully convicted during a period of intense media scrutiny.
In July 2007, some new forensic evidence was presented in the case, including evidence that none of the DNA collected from the crime scene matched the defendants, but did match the step father of one of the victims.
In September 2008 Circuit Court Judge David Burnett denied Echols’ application for a hearing on the new evidence. The Arkansas State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the oral arguments on Judge Burnett’s decision on the 30th of this month.
Numerous websites and celebraties have come foward to defend the West Memphis 3 and support them in their efforts for a retrial.
In an article posted by Court TV on their website, they ask “Was the basic tenet of the American legal system, the presumption of innocence, discarded in order to satisfy a community’s call for the revenge of the dreadful murders of three innocent children?”
HBO also filmed three documentaries with the first being released in 1996 and the last in the spring of 2010.