West Memphis 3 Released From Prison

08/19/2011
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(Rock News Desk) Three victims of wrongful imprisonment were released today after an 18-year ordeal, following years of campaigning supported by the rock and metal community. And one of the West Memphis Three admits freedom is overwhelming after having spent nearly a decade in solitary confinement on Death Row for a crime he didn't commit.

Support for the trio, who were teenagers at the time of their arrest, had come from all corners of the world. Momentum increased after forensic evidence proved there was no connection between Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley and the deaths of three eight-year-old boys in Akansas, USA, in 1993. Evidence used to convict the three in 1994 included bigoted attempts at staining their characters because they were fans of heavy metal.

A retrial was ordered for November at which the new evidence, it's believed, would have cleared them although they'd have had to cover the costs of re-testing the material themselves. But at a hearing in Jonesboro, Arkansas today, Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley were sent home after their eighteen-year ordeal. Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder and members of country rock band the Dixie Chicks were present in court to offer moral support. more on this story

RockNewsDesk.com is an official news provider for the Day in Rock.

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