The West Memphis Three finally freed | Bleader

Friday, August 19, 2011

The West Memphis Three finally freed

Posted By on 08.19.11 at 02:21 PM

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Let's all take a moment and savor the fact that today's news isn't completely about the economic apocalypse or which revolutionary theocrat is going to take a run at the White House from the right or whatever recently released study is adding another possible cause of the extinction of all life on earth in the very near future into the richly textured mix of those we're already dealing with. Today the West Memphis Three were freed from prison, which is a Very Good Thing as far as I'm concerned.

In case you're not familiar with their story, the West Memphis Three were a trio of teenagers who in 1993 were convicted of the brutal sexual assault and murder of three younger boys. The amazing 1996 documentary Paradise Lost made a compelling case for their innocence and the very strong possibility that they were found guilty largely because they were metalheads, which seems to have scared the shit out of all of the adults involved in the case. It was this aspect of the situation that made the Three a cause celebre amongst musicians, many of them from the worlds of metal and punk and probably with a lot of collective experience with the small-town persecution of weird people. To give you an idea of how fucked the entire case against the boys was, the stepfather of one of the victims was out protesting today not because he doesn't think they're innocent, but rather because they were only released under a deal that doesn't completely clear their names and he doesn't think that goes far enough to correct this heinous situation.

So good news, though these guys have lost half their lives so far to whatever terrible shit goes on in maximum-security prisons in Arkansas and there are brain-eating amoebas on the loose and Rick Perry is out there gleaming like 30 years of right-wing wet dreams brought to life as a gun-toting cyborg.

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