• FEATURED:
     

    WM3 supporters say fight's not over

    10:08 PM, Aug 22, 2011   |    comments
    • Share
    • Print
    • - A A A +
    • FILED UNDER

    JONESBORO, Ark. (KTHV) -- The fight isn't over yet for supporters of the West Memphis 3.

    They celebrated last Friday with the release of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley.

    They were all freed after accepting what's called an Alford Plea, where they maintain their innocence while accepting the fact prosecutors still had enough evidence to convict them for the murders of three young boys back in 1993.

    Supporters say they're now switching their mantra from Free the West Memphis Three to Pardon the West Memphis 3. It's a new mission on the heels of a major victory and a major transition into society.

    "It's so weird with you not here, it's really weird," said Capi Peck with the Arkansas Take Action group.

    She recalled memories from a weekend celebration in Memphis that included pictures with Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder and new experiences like getting a driver's license.

    "He had been walking shackled for 18 years shuffling his feet and he said I keep tripping," Peck said.

    Echols was on Death Row before Friday's freedom arrived. Jason Baldwin, facing a life sentence, joined him at the festivities Friday night along with Peck.

    "Just hugging and cheering and watching the beautiful sunset over the Mississippi River, it was truly surreal," Peck said.

    It was a surreal moment without Jessie Misskelley, who opted to spend time with family in Marion. But Peck says her organization stands for all three men, and their work is now just cranking up.

    "I think that the prosecution and the state hoped that this plea bargain might make us go away but really until they're exonerated we'll be here, we'll be fighting," Peck said.

    The goal now: a pardon for the West Memphis 3.

    "There is still evidence being tested, maybe that will turn something up. There are still investigations going on and there are two powerful documentaries that are going to be aired this fall that have information that will be of interest to everybody," Peck said.

    They have various pieces to arm themselves with in phase two of this ongoing drama.

    "Baby, we got a new mission. We are in the pardon mode," Peck told Davis on the phone.

    Peck said next week her group plans to meet with Damien's principal attorney, Stephen Braga, and work on a strategy toward a pardon.

    Braga is out of the country now, but Damien's co-counsel Patrick Benca said he's on board as well. They're actively pursuing new evidence to help clear the West Memphis 3.

    Peck said Echols and Baldwin spent the whole weekend together. She said the two won't be returning to Arkansas, and she plans to visit Echols in a week or so. 

    The Clinton School is partnering with The Arkansas Times to hold a public discussion on this case.

    Several of the key players will be there Thursday for a Q & A, including Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington who agreed to the plea bargain, along with Echols, Misskelley and Baldwin's lawyers.

    It starts at 6 p.m. and you need to let the Clinton School know if you want to attend.

    Most Watched Videos