Saturday, March 30, 2013

West of Memphis

This afternoon I saw West of Memphis, a documentary about the West Memphis Three.

I've been obsessed with this story since I first saw Paradise Lost and its sequel a few years ago. For those not in-the-know, the case went something like this in 1993: Three boys dead; three other boys wrongly accused of their murders; (presumably) one killer still roaming free. Thanks, Arkansas.

With support from stars like Eddie Vedder and Johnny Depp, and the relentless persistence of Damien Nichols' (the only accused on death row) wife Lorri, the three were finally released in the summer of 2011.

I'll confess that I didn't know what an Alford Plea was until the three wrongly accused entered theirs to gain freedom. I cried tears of joy upon seeing footage of their release, and cried some more today as I watched this chapter play out.

What's new in this film? The compelling evidence against one of the stepfathers who was never even interviewed at the time of the murders.

Also new? Footage of the WM3 outside of prison walls, carrying on with their lives as they should have been allowed to in 1993.

I'm still digesting all that I saw (many of the graphic crime scene photos were almost too much for me to handle), but I can safely say that anyone interested in the case or curious about the holes of our justice system that can let something like this happen should watch it.

It's nothing short of riveting.


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