West Memphis 3 Expected To Be In A Jonesboro Courtroom On Friday

Somewhat of a “surprise hearing” will be held Friday August 19th for the three men convicted of killing three boys in West Memphis.

Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley are expected to be in court before Judge David Laser, the Judge who will preside of an evidentiary hearing ordered by the Arkansas Supreme Court later this year. The Arkansas Supreme Court ordered this hearing to determine if new evidence in the case warrants a new trial for the three.

The order came after the Arkansas Supreme Court on November 4, 2010 ordered a judge to consider whether newly analyzed DNA evidence may exonerate the convicted men. The Arkansas Supreme Court also ordered that a lower court must examine claims of misconduct by the jurors who sentenced Echols to death and Misskelley and Baldwin to life in prison.

The three are convicted in the 1993 murders of three 8 year old boys found deceased in a ditch along Interstate 40 in West Memphis. Judge Laser issued a “gag order” in April that prohibits attorneys from discussing the case with media, Judge Laser’s office did not release the reason for Friday’s hearing.

Echols, Misskelley and Baldwin have all ask the State of Arkansas for new trials, claiming DNA evidence exonerates their convictions.

UPDATE: Hearing Set For Friday Could Set The West Memphis 3 Free

Despite a “Gag Order” ordered by an Arkansas judge, details are slowly surfacing in a deal to release the West Memphis 3. Numerous media sources are claiming the two of the three convicted men in the murders of three West Memphis children are slated to be released on Friday.
Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin are to appear in a Jonesboro courtroom on Friday. The alleged hearing is to take place at 10 am. followed by an 11 am. public hearing. Persons close to the case, including family members of the victims are claiming that the three convicted men would use a little known legal move that would all the three to maintain their innocence while acknowledging that prosecutors have enough evidence to convict. The plea is know as the Alford Plea.