|Home | Bookmark | Tell||Active petitions in over 75 countries||Follow GoPetition|
Free The West Memphis 3 - Jailed without proper evidence
Petition Background (Preamble):
May 5th, 1993 was a Wednesday, and when the Weaver Elementary school bell rang, three 8 year old boys headed home to their nearby West Memphis, Arkansas neighborhood. Only a few hours later they would be reported missing and an informal search by their parents would be under way.
The next afternoon at 1:45 PM, a child's body was pulled from a creek in an area known as Robin Hood Hills. Eventually the bodies of the other two missing children were found nearby. All three of them were naked and they had been tied ankle to wrist with their own shoe laces. The children had been severely beaten, and one child, Christopher Byers, appears to have been the focus of the attack; he had been stabbed repeatedly in the groin area and castrated.
A triple homicide is extremely unusual, and particularly when the victims are children and unrelated to one another. So far, two documentary films have been made about this case, and interest in it shows no sign of fading. The facts surrounding the Robin Hood Hills murders, the events which they triggered, the aftermath, the trials, the verdicts and the hearings have been the focus of an ongoing research project for the past several years and we have reached many surprising conclusions.
Having had no previous experience with this type of murder, the West Memphis Police Department allowed potential evidence to be destroyed at the site where the bodies of Steve Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore were located. Officers who were present made very little apparent effort to preserve or properly document the scene or to make accurate notes. Perhaps this was due to negligence or perhaps it was due to the fact that they were inadequately trained and inexperienced in handling such a crime and the events that naturally follow. Many unidentified people can be seen milling around the bodies in the brief crime scene video, and the Chief Investigator, Gary Gitchell can be seen smoking a cigarette well within the perimeter of the area.
Strangely, a juvenile probation officer was present when the horrible discovery was made and he indulged in speculation with a police officer about who might be responsible for such an unspeakable act. The probation officer had been following the activities of a local teenager named Damien Echols for years, and his first instinct what that the moody, dark haired teen was responsible. In fact, he and the police officer agreed that Damien was the only person they felt was "capable" of such a thing. Both men decided that the triple homicide had actually been a bizarre Satanic ritual sacrifice performed by a "cult" which they imagined Damien was the leader of.
I believe a great injustice has been committed in the cases of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, Jr. The evidence against them was entirely circumstantial. The prosecutions' cases revolved around a highly questionable confession (since retracted) and an extraordinary degree of insinuation. Evidence that emerged during the trial and Echols' subsequent Rule 37 Hearing (bite mark evidence) demanded further investigation in at least two directions radically different from that followed by the police and prosecution. These directions remain ignored.
Under these extraordinary circumstances I urge you to exercise clemency and press for a reexamination of the case. It is sad to think that an injustice of this nature can be allowed in the United States.
The Free The West Memphis 3 - Jailed without proper evidence petition to Hon. Mike Huckabee, Office of the Governer - State Capital - Little Rock, AR 72201 was written by bob cooley and is in the category Government at GoPetition. Contact author here. Petition tags: evidence, officer, police, damien, echols, memphis, bodies, children, hills, robin, perhaps, crime, probation, directions, scene, cases, extraordinary, responsible, injustice, events, child, christopher, missing, nearby, mur