Surprise hearing for West Memphis Three on August 19th!


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GuiltyPleasures


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"Major News" expected.

Judge David Laser just announced that his court will ”take up certain matters pertaining to the cases of defendants [Jason] Baldwin, [Damien] Echols and [Jessie] Misskelley on Friday, August 19.” A private meeting between the judge, the three defense teams and attorneys for the state will be followed by a session in open court that Laser said will begin at “about 11 a.m.” Echols, Misskelley and Baldwin will be present.

I will be reporting from Jonesboro here and for the Arkansas Times blog. Arkansas Times senior editor Max Brantley blogged this morning that tomorrow’s events could be “earth-shaking.” He wrote: “The surprise hearing tomorrow alone suggests a major development is at hand. The buzz in the defense bar community is that the news is beyond major. Until now, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel’s office has fought vigorously against new proceedings for the defendants and in support of their convictions. A development tomorrow in which he joined in a defense suggestion would be momentous, indeed.”

Here’s more from Judge Laser’s brief announcement:

“Space will be limited for the public session. First the parties, counsel and court personnel, then to family members of the victims and family members of defendants with remaining seating to be occupied by media representatives and the public. There will be approximately 15 minutes between the chamber session and open session for media and public to be seated. Miss Stephanie Harris, Arkansas Supreme Court communication counsel, will be present on Friday to assist with implementation and will be the court’s intermediary with public and press.”



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Disturbed1forEternity


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This is awesome news, but at the same time, it's also really scary. Lord only knows what's going to happen in that hearing tomorrow. I for one am interested in the results of the hearing.

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Thank God. Hopefully this news will break the case.

And I hope those guys get a big compensation for all they've gone through.

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Ravensclaw


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There you go steph fixed it up for ya. i hope that true justice will be shown and that they have a fair trial



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GuiltyPleasures


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I'll be watching this to see what happens during the hearing. Hopefully, we'll know more this afternoon so I can include it in the podcast.

Thanx Raven for fixing that for me. I couldn't copy/paste that from the original article for some reason.

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EDIT: Several news orgs are at the courthouse, and confusing reports are just making this hard to understand. The best places to get ACCURATE coverage is the blog I originally got the post from yesterday, and CNN. According to a source close to the case, the WM3 have left the prison with all their belongings and "are not expected back" (http://bit.ly/q74LQX).



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It's official. Confirmed on Yahoo! news. I was expecting news today, but I wasn't expecting to be slapped with it right when I booted up my home page (Yahoo! being my home page). Our boys are free! Eeeek!!!!

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Disturbed1forEternity


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The WM3 are free! It's been 18 years in the making. It's about time.

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I'm actually quite disgusted with this after getting more details. Mainly the circumstances of their freedom that disgusts me. They had to plead guilty while maintaining that they're innocent in order to be freed. Basically, take a lighter punishment to avoid a more severe one. In my opinion, that's lazy of the state.

In my opinion, it's also kind of blackmail. The state is making them plead technically guilty, despite all evidence to contrary, probably so that they can't eventually sue for false imprisonment. Basically, they're saying, "Yes we fucked up, but if you try and make us acknowledge it, we're going to wave your guilty plea in your fucking face". There's no responsibility in this government anymore. People would rather take the safer route out of this, ensuring the WM3 bears the majority of the weight of this mistake, rather than assuming responsibility (read: LIKE A GOVERNMENT IS *SUPPOSED* TO DO) for it. What they're doing is causing more harm while trying to wash their hands of this 18-year obstruction of justice.

I'm sorry, this isn't what I wanted for these three guys. Personally, I still want to fight to waive the guilty plea and give them absolute justice, as well as reimbursement from the government. The very fact that they're going free shows that the government knows they're innocent. The fact that they refuse to let them go completely free shows a lack of responsibility.

Come on state, do what's right.

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Disturbed1forEternity


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From what I understand about the kind of plea they made, it just allows them to get out of prison. They're still allowed to pursue their innocence in a court of law and if the conviction is overturned, they're allowed to sue for wrongful conviction. And personally, I hope they do sue because they could win a HUGE judgment for the 18 years of hell they've endured.

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Disturbed1forEternity wrote:From what I understand about the kind of plea they made, it just allows them to get out of prison. They're still allowed to pursue their innocence in a court of law and if the conviction is overturned, they're allowed to sue for wrongful conviction. And personally, I hope they do sue because they could win a HUGE judgment for the 18 years of hell they've endured.

This is exactly what I'm talking about, though. The state gov't of Arkansas is not doing their active and rightful role in this thing. I watched a press conference today where Mr. Echols or Mr. Baldwin said something along the lines of "they're not out there trying to find the people/person who actually murdered these three boys". Instead, they're trying to make these three men maintain their guilt to an official capacity to find a quick way of washing their hands of involvement.

Sure, the WM3 can still fight tooth and nail to prove their innocence. However, this first step was a compromise, and in the long run of absolute justice for these men, it was not a beneficial compromise at all. It will be harder for them to prove their innocence and sue for reparations when they've officially pleaded guilty to the crime and served 18 years of time for it.

In the long run, this doesn't put them in a good position - just a better one than they were in. I'm still thankful for that fact alone, but I wish the state gov't would take a bit more responsibility is all I'm saying.

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Disturbed1forEternity


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Well, that's because the retards in Arkansas still maintain that those small boys were murdered by Baldwin, Echols, and Misskelly. They're not going to head out and actually look into it until the conviction IS overturned because they're all single minded simpletons in Arkansas. I outta know, I lived there for four years and I was the smartest person in the town I was living in. And, West Memphis is the worst town in Northern Arkansas about being single minded.

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no amount of money can compensate for 2 decades spent in prison for being wrongfully convicted. hopefully this is a slap in the face to the corrupted assholes in the broken american justice system.

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Ravensclaw


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law is wrong half the time and when someone commits a crime they are punished so why not punish the system that locked these boys up for nearly twenty years the first step is getting them out once they are out they can enjoy life for awhile then they should raise money to hire them selfs a lawer and sue the entire system



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Yumiyuri


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GUYS, THEY'RE FREE!!!

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Ravensclaw


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there you go they are now free men they were always free and innocent the law just needed a couple of guilty people to lock up to pay for a crime to get the world off there backs i think those parties should be punished for this



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PoisonIvy


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yay! so happy!!

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Disturbed1forEternity


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ShockAndAwe wrote:no amount of money can compensate for 2 decades spent in prison for being wrongfully convicted. hopefully this is a slap in the face to the corrupted assholes in the broken american justice system.

I'm not saying that money can compensate for being imprisoned for nearly 2 decades. I'm just saying that if they could sue, they would be entitled to a good bit of money. Nothing will give them those years back, no matter how much they want them back.

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The money would be a nice bonus. The real benefit of suing the shit out of Arkansas would be a better sense of closure. Instead of having to plea guilty to maintain innocence, they would get to plea not guilty and have the state of Arkansas acknowledge that and at least try to make good on it. And that's where the money would be a nice bonus. But the real prize would be the vindication of Arkansas admitting to its mistake.

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Ravensclaw


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hes right if they sued the system it would hurt them there image as a government and they dont like being wrong its not about the money its about the fact that these boys were locked up for 20 years there names and the names of there family's ridiculed its about much more then just them doing time so yea fucking so sue the fuck out of them



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Disturbed1forEternity


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I'm a former Arkansas resident. I know for a face that the State Attorney's office will not change their minds unless and until there is an overturned conviction on all three of the boys. Only then will they look at the evidence and say, "Ok, it wasn't these young men. We need to look somewhere else." And even then, because they're so closed minded in Arkansas a law suit may be the only thing to shake the idiots at the State's Attorney's office.

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The real victory would be letting the whole world know the entire story. Even though the story made headline news on the internet, only a summed up story was written. It didnt make TV news as far as I know (correct me if I'm wrong) and as soon as the subject came about, it was smothered out by the bullshit in Libya.

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Ravensclaw


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yea the world does need to know what happen cause right now only a few knows in order to make sure this does not happen again they need to televise it across the world as like a documentary into what happened



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Disturbed1forEternity


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I recently learned through brief conversation with David and looking into the facts that the kind of plea they made makes it impossible for them to sue. It would be cool if they could, but the State's Attorney in AR was sure to cover their ass with that Alfred plea.

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