Large crowd expected for Damien Echols oral arguments

    7:19 PM, Sep 29, 2010   |    comments
    • Damien Echols
    • Damien Echols
    • Jason Baldwin, Jessie Misskelley, Damien Echols (left to right)
    • Damien Echols
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    Echols is seeking a new trial after he was sentenced to death for the 1993 murders of three 8-year-old boys in West Memphis.

    The high-profile case has drawn attention worldwide, and the court says it's expecting a high level of interest for Thursday's oral arguments. The court says it will open an overflow room for people who can't get seats in the courtroom. The arguments will also be webcast live on the Supreme Court's website. The arguments start at 9 a.m. Thursday.

    Echols tells Today's THV, "That's where I've stood about having media in the courtroom. I am all for it. To me, the more transparent the better it is."

    Officials also say that no T-shirts, buttons or signs regarding the case will be permitted. Supporters of Echols and the two other men convicted in a 1993 triple murder often wear "Free the West Memphis Three" shirts at public events.

    "The judges will take everything into consideration and they could come back with a ruling the next day or they could come back with a ruling in three months," explains Echols. "It is entirely up to them."

    Supporters plan a vigil Wednesday night at the Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church in Little Rock.

    Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley were sentenced to life in prison for the murders.

    Echols adds, "I believe with all my heart and with all my soul that the day is coming whenever will see justice and we will walk out of this place. It may not be tomorrow. It may not come Sept. 30, but it will come."

    Statement from Attorney General Dustin McDaniel:

    "Our office knows that there are concerns about this case, but be assured that we take the utmost care in handling the appeals of death sentences handed down by Arkansas jurors. Though some celebrities have brought more attention to this case than to the dozens of other pending death-row appeals in this state, every one is an extremely serious matter.
    We are committed to fairness and justice not just for the three inmates, but also for the three little boys who didn't live to see middle school."

    THV's Ashley Blackstone will be at the appeal hearing Thursday and will bring you updates throughout the day right here on todaysthv.com.

    Source: Associated Press & Today's THV

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