West Memphis 3 Argumentative Paper

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  • Topic: Damien Echols, West Memphis 3, Jessie Misskelley
  • Pages : 5 (1912 words )
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  • Published : April 9, 2008
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West Memphis 3: Wrongfully Accused?

On May 5th, 1993 three eight year old boys were reported missing in West Memphis, Arkansas. The boys were found the next day, hog tied in a wooded area called “Robin Hood Hills”. After the case had been “thoroughly” investigated, the West Memphis Police announced on the news that they had found the murderers, pointing fingers at Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin, three teenagers who were different from the norm in West Memphis, making it easy for them to be accused. I believe the boys were wrongfully accused of this crime because there is a lack of evidence in the case pointing to the boys, and the crime just seems to convenient for these three to actually pull off. During the investigation several fibers and two hairs were found on the boys, one negroid hair and one Caucasian hair.(Sauls) None of these hairs or fibers could be linked directly to any of the three boys. This evidence was also somewhat just tossed aside and overlooked for the remainder of the case… I wonder why? During the police investigation, it was said that the crime could have been some sort of sexual assault by a serial killer, but there was no trauma on the boys anuses found by the coroner. Most of the clothes were found in the water next to the bodies, but instead of being torn all of the clothes were turned inside out. Two of the three pairs of underwear were never found, nor were Christopher Byers missing parts. It’s said that serial killers usually take something of the victims, but I’m not convinced Echols, Baldwin or Misskelley would do anything like that. Also at the scene, no blood or weapons were found anywhere around the area. The day after the bodies were discovered, Damien Echols was questioned.

A juvenile probation officer was on scene when the three bodies were discovered in “The Robin Hood Hills”. The officer said he had been following the actions of Damien Echols, a local student, stating that it was possible that he could be responsible for the act.(Sauls) After hearing about Damien, the police drew the idea that the crime could be related to Satanistic rituals or some sort of cult sacrifice. They went from having no suspects, to jumping on the bandwagon with the first possibility mentioned, it seems. Damien was different from a lot of the kids in West Memphis. He had black hair and listened to hard rock, which made it easy for him to be the scapegoat. He admittedly agreed he had been interested in “Wicka” a study somewhat similar to witchcraft. During the questioning, Damien pleaded his innocence and volunteered hair and blood samples for evidence. How many guilty criminals are willing to give up their DNA, this would mean that Damien knew for a fact that he was flawless in the killing of the boys, leaving nothing behind. I feel that instead of focusing on the case and evidence at hand, the prosecution turned the juries focus on the fact that Damien could be labeled “weird” or different from everyone else in West Memphis. It’s a good tactic and seemed to work well. Another reason that leads me to believe that the three are innocent is the false confession by Jessie Misskelley. A few weeks later, Jessie Misskelley Jr. was picked up at around 9:30 on June 3rd and taken to the police station to be questioned. Misskelley, 17 at the time, was questioned without a parent or lawyer in the room.(Paradise Lost) He was questioned and probably harassed by the officers, with no recordings for around 12 hours. He denied having anything to do with the murders, but they kept persisting. They encouraged him to give them information, offering Jessie reward money, and saying that he would be able to go home after he gave a statement. The only recorded conversation was when Misskelley “confessed” hours later, after having been shown pictures of the dead boys bodies. Misskelleys lawyer later stated that this “confession” was unfair considering Jessie was illegally questioned alone, and that...
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