West Memphis 3 Featured in HBO Documentary

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Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory is the latest in a series of HBO documentaries about the West Memphis Three, released last year after 18 years of wrongful imprisonment.

Revealing injustices perpetrated by the Arkansas penal system against the men, now in their 30s, has become a goal the filmmakers will stop at nothing to achieve.

This travesty chronicling the betrayal of the young murder victims - and the wrongly convicted - has become one of the most famous cases in modern law.

Known as the West Memphis 3, Damian Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jesse Misskelley were freed in August after 18 years in prison under an obscure statute.

In an odd, legal twist, the trio entered a plea of guilty in court and were subsequently set free, with a twist. They were never technically exonerated.

Known as an "Alford plea," the defendants essentially admitted there was enough evidence to convict them, yet maintain the right to state their innocence.

Immediately following their release, Damien and Jessie held a press conference and insisted they served 18 years for a crime they "did not commit."

Their story, a must-see for anybody who cares about justice, was laid out in all its cynical truth in the last of the series, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory.

The film first aired on HBO last night. Look for a re-airing if you missed it.

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Is this doc available to see on HBO now? It's September & I'm having a tough time locating it
on "On Demand" or Netflix..
Thanks!

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Well, I think Johnny Depp is spot on correct. I also think this was a compelling and almost unbelievable documentary of botch bullcrap. Damian Echols was targeted because he is extremely intelligent and book savy. It doesn't matter that he read a book about an occult or whicka.Catholic educated kids rarely commit murder. While STEP FATHER'S DO MURDER STEP Children. Especially Step father's who develope increased violent behavior from a brain tumor, are alcoholics and use drugs. If a Step father such as Byer is also selling drugs the chances he will blame and kill a step child for missing drugs or a botched deal is even greater. Byer did in fact have his teeth removed 4 years after the murder of the 3 children when he found out they were investigating bite marks. And he lied about selling drugs. He is a violent personality that enjoys hunting and hog tying animals. BYER IN MY OPINION FAILED HIS POLYGRAPH TEST!!!

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I have been interested in true crime for a long time.
The HBO docu film motivated me to further look into the details of the case. Everyone can do what i did. It just takes some time to do it in depth. I wanted these three guys from West Memphis to be innocent so badly. Specially D.Echols who i thought was very attractive. After i had looked at all the courtdocuments i was shocked.HBO had manipulated me...Those guys did it! Argh!!!!
Someone with real skill should make a film about the case.
It is very interesting if not disturbing that these people like Peter Jackson and Jonny Depp involve themselves in this.
They obviously did not spend any time with this case. They can not be that stupid. None of the Memphis 3 were convicted based on what they looked like. This whole HBO Paradise series is insulting to my intelligence.I seriously hope Echols receives some psychiatric treatment. I would hate for this guy to commit anouther violent crime.

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I'm sorry for the ignorance....three boys were murdered? Just based off the comments I see how a guilty plea was easy to accept. Please give me details of the murder. DNA evidence sounds weak and all those confessions-bragging boosts the guilty as charged idea. However, could someone give me the facts of the crime?

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The DNA found at the scene of the crime of the three murdered boys that supposedly from the step father was from a hair that could have come from simple contact with one of the victims. The hair could have belonged to 1.5 percent of the population (or several million people). So this evidence is meaningless. The strongest evidence is the amount of confessions by all three to different people that they committed the crimes.

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There was physical evidence implicating one of the three. Police took a necklace from Echols when he was arrested. An outside crime lab later found blood from two distinct DNA sources on the necklace. One source was consistent with Echols himself. The second source was consistent with both victim Steven Branch and co-defendant Jason Baldwin. Misskelley had been in legal trouble before and was a street smart kid. He knew what he was doing. He probably felt guilty, so he confessed. This is why he confessed THREE times and cried intensely in the month after the murders.

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There was no physical evidence ..there was however physical evidence implicating one of the boys step fathers. The fact they did 18 years with no physical evidence is.mind blowing. I won't bother addressing the confession, anyone who can read is aware the confession was not only wrong in detail, but he is mentally challenged

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Many people believe the WM3 were not innocent but guilty as charged and that they were the ones that committed the crime. They were found guilty by a unanimous jury the first time. They plead guilty instead of waiting for a trial the second time. Misskelley confessed three separate times, once with his lawyer present. Misskelley also told two other people about the crime before he was arrested. Baldwin told someone else he committed the crimes. Echols was seen in muddy clothes near the crime scene. Echols is reported to have either told or bragged about the crime to four people before he was arrested. Echols also had a history of psychiatric treatment. His reported actions included brutally killing a dog, starting fires at his school, threatening to kill his teachers and parents and stating he liked to drink blood