The West Memphis 3 Released From Prison Today
Arkansas Dept. of Corrections
The West Memphis 3, a trio of then-teenagers who were convicted in 1994 of killing three young boys in Arkansas as part of a Satanic ritual, became somewhat of a cause célèbre in the metal scene and beyond, and it was being reported by FOX News that the trio could see freedom as soon as today. Well, CNN reports that the men were ordered released after entering new pleas at a court hearing. They are due to be released today based on credit for time served.
Due to poor handling of the DNA and lack of evidence, many musicians supported Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin in their appeals. Metallica even allowed their music to be used in 'Paradise Lost,' a documentary on the case, which was a first for the band, while Henry Rollins was the driving force behind 'Rise Above: 24 Black Songs to Benefit the West Memphis Three.' The compilation disc featured artists like Corey Taylor, Iggy Pop, Mike Patton and Clutch's Neil Fallon. All proceeds were donated to the WM3's defense fund. Even actor Johnny Depp came to their aid to speak out about the case. However, the trio languished in jail, with Echols on death row.
FOX initially reported the deal included a legal maneuver allowing the men to maintain their innocence claim while admitting that prosecutors likely have enough evidence to win a conviction.