Christopher Byers, Michael Moore, Stevie Branch (left to right)
Jason Baldwin, Jessie Misskelley, Damien Echols (left to right)
Circuit Court Judge David Burnett issued separate orders Wednesday rejecting Jason Baldwin's and Jessie Misskelley's claims that they weren't adequately represented at trial.
The hearings were held in August and in October.
Baldwin and Misskelley were convicted along with Damien Echols in the deaths of 8-year-olds Christopher Byers, Steven Branch and Michael Moore.
The judge also rejected Baldwin's claims that animals,likely turtles, caused multiple injuries to the boys' bodies. Burnett noted that the medical examiner who performed the autopsies was a turtle expert who said the injuries were caused by a knife.
Baldwin was sentenced to life in prison for the killings.
Two of the victim's parents now believe the men convicted are innocent. One of them is Pamela Hobbs-Hicks. Today's THV spoke with her Wednesday after Judge Burnett's decision.
"I wasn't surprised. I think every time this is brought before Judge Burnett he is going to deny the appeals at all costs. He is not going to listen to reason. I do not believe Judge Burnett is going to ever admit that Arkansas made a mistake."
The group Arkansas Take Action is also speaking out about Burnett's decision. They released the below statement on Wednesday.
"Jason Baldwin, Jessie Misskelley and Damien Echols are innocent and should have their convictions overturned for crimes they did not commit. Judge David Burnett's decision only allows these tragic circumstances to continue. With all the new evidence of their innocence, including blatant jury misconduct, DNA linking others to the crime scene, forensic testimony from the country's leading pathologists and, what is universally recognized as a false confession, what more does it take to free these innocent men? It is time for justice in the courts of Arkansas. Right a terrible wrong. Overturn these convictions and find and prosecute those guilty of the murder of the three young boys in West Memphis in 1993."
Misskelley and Baldwin are serving life sentences. Echols is appealing his conviction with the Arkansas Supreme Court. He is on death row for the crime.
In November, THV's Ashley Blackstone spoke with Echols. Also, check out more history on this case. You can also learn why two of the victim's parents now believe the three men were wrongly convicted.
Source: Today's THV, Associated Press, & Arkansas Take Action