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  1. #1

    What Happened on 8/19/2011 and Why

    Was justice truly served on August 19, 2011? Why did both sides agree to the Alford Plea? I'll give my thoughts. You give yours.

    Justice was not served because the WM3 had to say the word "guilty" as a part of this Devil's bargain. IMO, they are innocent of these charges, and I hope that, in time, they will prove this to be true. However, as Damien said, now they can strive for this goal as free men.

    I've read a lot about the deal. One thing I read (I'll post the link if I can find it) is that this began when the defense approached the prosecution to see if they would be willing to skip the evidentiary hearing and go straight to trial. The State wouldn't do that. They said that they wanted a "global resolution" of the case. The defense came back with the Alford Plea, which the State agreed to, and the rest is history. (It's important to note that Judge Laser had to vacate the original convictions in order to allow the Alford Plea to be entered and that it was his decision whether or not to accept the plea.)

    I have heard that the State was probably told that by Judge Laser that he was going to order a new trial, and they were worried about the case because so many witnesses had changed their stories, recanted previous testimony and so on and that memories were no longer fresh. So, they agreed to the deal because they didn't want to risk the possibility of "not guilty" verdicts which would leave the State open to civil suits for damages. The money concerns weren't for the trial costs but for the possible multimillion dollar settlements all three defendants could receive for false imprisonment. They might have even sued the WMPD for their lousy investigation. There are probably other possibilities, too.

    I have heard that Jason really didn't want to make the deal. He wanted to proceed to the hearing and the new trial and prove his innocence. If you watch the video of the public hearing, you'll hear that much. You'll hear that he finally accepted the deal to save Damien's life. You'll also hear that Damien and Jessie accepted the deal readily.

    In Jessie's case, IMO, he simply doesn't understand all of the legal underpinnings involved. He simply knew that, if he said what his lawyer told him to say, he would get out of prison. That's all he's ever wanted. One supporter said that this proves that Jessie had the right idea all along - tell them what they want to hear and they'll let you go home!

    Damien is another case altogether. Notwithstanding the fact that he has been in virtual isolation for at least the last ten years, he had stated a few years ago in an interview (or maybe in his book, Almost Home) that he had some dental problems, and that, on Death Row, the only dental care offered is extraction. He didn't want to have his teeth pulled, so he was trying to cope with the problems through meditation. Having had some serious toothaches in my day, that alone would make me amenable to the deal!

    So, in short, no one wins. The State will always be perceived by those who thought the WM3 guilty as having let murderers go free. Those same people will point to the Alford Plea as "proof" of the guilt of the guys (which it isn't) and the guys will have this Sword of Damocles hanging over their head until they prove their innocence. However, as previously stated, at least they'll be working on proving their innocence as free men. Hopefully, they will do that. When they do, I wonder if they can sue the State then?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Eastern Washington
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    1,416
    Wow, I have had a bad cord on my laptop and had to order a new one and then went camping for the weekend and all hell breaks loose! This is great news that they are out/getting out (not sure as I haven't read everything yet) but unfortunate that they had to plead to be released. Seems backwards...plead guilty and we'll let you go...but definitely easier to fight from the outside and be out from under the threat of death row! This is so amazing and I am so happy for them.

    I really think that the state knew they couldn't get them convicted again. Otherwise they would never let this happen. Nothing ever gets pushed forward when it comes to the courts. This happened because the state cannot admit how wrong they were. It will drag out now while they try to prove innocence and that one guy is probably happy because as long as someone is 'guilty' they won't come after him.

    That is JMO....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    Armpit, AR
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    Post

    CR, I agree with what you say. However, in the state of AR, a prisoner can not sue for wrongful imprisonment. So, they won't be able to do that even when they are finally cleared.

    The state is NEVER going to admit that they were wrong. The deal was just to save face for AR.

    I didn't have any internet access, and I did NOT believe my son when he told me that the WM3 were free. Where I live in south AR, it's not big news.

    I am just glad this part of the nightmare is over for the WM3.
    "If at first you don't succeed, skydiving isn't for you!"

    The above post is my opinion and my opinion only. Please do not copy and past to other forums.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    2,224
    Quote Originally Posted by Compassionate Reader View Post
    Was justice truly served on August 19, 2011? Why did both sides agree to the Alford Plea? I'll give my thoughts. You give yours.

    Justice was not served because the WM3 had to say the word "guilty" as a part of this Devil's bargain. IMO, they are innocent of these charges, and I hope that, in time, they will prove this to be true. However, as Damien said, now they can strive for this goal as free men.

    I've read a lot about the deal. One thing I read (I'll post the link if I can find it) is that this began when the defense approached the prosecution to see if they would be willing to skip the evidentiary hearing and go straight to trial. The State wouldn't do that. They said that they wanted a "global resolution" of the case. The defense came back with the Alford Plea, which the State agreed to, and the rest is history. (It's important to note that Judge Laser had to vacate the original convictions in order to allow the Alford Plea to be entered and that it was his decision whether or not to accept the plea.)

    I have heard that the State was probably told that by Judge Laser that he was going to order a new trial, and they were worried about the case because so many witnesses had changed their stories, recanted previous testimony and so on and that memories were no longer fresh. So, they agreed to the deal because they didn't want to risk the possibility of "not guilty" verdicts which would leave the State open to civil suits for damages. The money concerns weren't for the trial costs but for the possible multimillion dollar settlements all three defendants could receive for false imprisonment. They might have even sued the WMPD for their lousy investigation. There are probably other possibilities, too.

    I have heard that Jason really didn't want to make the deal. He wanted to proceed to the hearing and the new trial and prove his innocence. If you watch the video of the public hearing, you'll hear that much. You'll hear that he finally accepted the deal to save Damien's life. You'll also hear that Damien and Jessie accepted the deal readily.

    In Jessie's case, IMO, he simply doesn't understand all of the legal underpinnings involved. He simply knew that, if he said what his lawyer told him to say, he would get out of prison. That's all he's ever wanted. One supporter said that this proves that Jessie had the right idea all along - tell them what they want to hear and they'll let you go home!

    Damien is another case altogether. Notwithstanding the fact that he has been in virtual isolation for at least the last ten years, he had stated a few years ago in an interview (or maybe in his book, Almost Home) that he had some dental problems, and that, on Death Row, the only dental care offered is extraction. He didn't want to have his teeth pulled, so he was trying to cope with the problems through meditation. Having had some serious toothaches in my day, that alone would make me amenable to the deal!

    So, in short, no one wins. The State will always be perceived by those who thought the WM3 guilty as having let murderers go free. Those same people will point to the Alford Plea as "proof" of the guilt of the guys (which it isn't) and the guys will have this Sword of Damocles hanging over their head until they prove their innocence. However, as previously stated, at least they'll be working on proving their innocence as free men. Hopefully, they will do that. When they do, I wonder if they can sue the State then?
    Yes, maybe good ole Damien, Jason, and Jessie can do something that their attorneys. all their supporters, and $10 million dollars thrown at the case couldn't do.


  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by justthinkin View Post
    Yes, maybe good ole Damien, Jason, and Jessie can do something that their attorneys. all their supporters, and $10 million dollars thrown at the case couldn't do.

    Fortunately, they don't have to try to attempt this on their own:

    Peter Jackson Still Gunning for Justice for West Memphis Three

    Read more: http://www.eonline.com/news/peter_ja...#ixzz1WTGmYTXf

    Peter Jackson's statement on facebook:

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/peter...50348803586558

    "If you’re guilty, how can you be innocent? Something’s wrong with the system. They have to be free because they are innocent. We have to prove that, and I don’t know how we do that. We’ll have to really work on that." *on possibility of a PL4

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/new...-nevins-226563

    Prosecutor: Lab to study 'West Memphis 3' case DNA

    http://www.chron.com/news/article/Pr...NA-2141889.php

    And there are still lots of supporters willing to help:

    Damien's facebook (run by wm3.org)

    https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=589455121

    Jessie's facebook (run by himself)

    https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002831955764

    Jason's fan page:

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jason...45944238773717

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    2,224
    Quote Originally Posted by HRCODEPINK View Post
    Fortunately, they don't have to try to attempt this on their own:

    Peter Jackson Still Gunning for Justice for West Memphis Three

    Read more: http://www.eonline.com/news/peter_ja...#ixzz1WTGmYTXf

    Peter Jackson's statement on facebook:

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/peter...50348803586558

    "If you’re guilty, how can you be innocent? Something’s wrong with the system. They have to be free because they are innocent. We have to prove that, and I don’t know how we do that. We’ll have to really work on that." *on possibility of a PL4

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/new...-nevins-226563

    Prosecutor: Lab to study 'West Memphis 3' case DNA

    http://www.chron.com/news/article/Pr...NA-2141889.php

    And there are still lots of supporters willing to help:

    Damien's facebook (run by wm3.org)

    https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=589455121

    Jessie's facebook (run by himself)

    https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002831955764

    Jason's fan page:

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jason...45944238773717

    Sounds like all those people might be worried that DJ &J might search for the "real killer" the same way OJ did or the Ramseys for that matter.

    I sure hope all the supporters keep throwing their good money away on DJ &J.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by justthinkin View Post
    Sounds like all those people might be worried that DJ &J might search for the "real killer" the same way OJ did or the Ramseys for that matter.

    I sure hope all the supporters keep throwing their good money away on DJ &J.
    Boy, those grapes must be pretty sour.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    2,224
    No sour grapes. The WM3 were guilty, are now guilty, and IMO, always will be guilty. I don't believe any other culprit exists now or then.

    I also believe the continuing search to find "the real killer" is proof that somewhere in the dark recesses of supporters' minds is a nagging doubt of the innocence of the WM3. In the minds of some it may very well be a subconscious thought. That's what the search is all about, putting to rest that doubt.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    In the Pines
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    Justice wasn't served at all. It's basically a conundrum when you boil it down. No matter what the State was going to make sure they have guilt follow them whether they went to trial, freed, or sat in prison.

    I believe they were afraid of the possible outcome even with lack of evidence showing their guilt. That it would be like 1993 all over again. They just couldn't catch a break back then or while in prison for 18 years and now the catch 22.

    Take the plea, but admit they're guilty. Don't take the plea, stay in prison. Go to a new trial, possibly be found guilty again. So they took the easiest way.

    On the other hand I think the State was also afraid of the outcome of the new trial. So both sides were full of fear.

    The Govenor won't pardon them, or rather look at it until their ten years are up, but by that time the Gov now will be out of office. So maybe they will have a shot with the next person.

    Maybe someday the State will finally admit they were wrong and they will have their justice. Along with the real killer/killers. Which I believe was known by the boys
    It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Compassionate Reader View Post
    Boy, those grapes must be pretty sour.


  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by justthinkin View Post
    No sour grapes. The WM3 were guilty, are now guilty, and IMO, always will be guilty. I don't believe any other culprit exists now or then.

    I also believe the continuing search to find "the real killer" is proof that somewhere in the dark recesses of supporters' minds is a nagging doubt of the innocence of the WM3. In the minds of some it may very well be a subconscious thought. That's what the search is all about, putting to rest that doubt.
    Oh my goodness! Really? That's kinda scraping the bottom of the barrel if you ask me. Have you ever worked an innocence case? I don't mean from the confines of your home, sitting behind a computer, but honestly worked one, as a hands on member of the defense team questioning witnesses and reading documents and looking at crime scene photos and being patted down and searched in order to go into the prison to speak with the accused and others? I have. More than once.

    I can't speak for all of the WM3 supporters, but I can say that it is insulting for an innocent person to be freed and the guilty party continue to walk, not only because of all of the hard work that the defense team has to do and all of the money they have to spend to do the job that should have been done by LE at the time, but also because it negates justice for the victims, which after the innocent are freed, should become priority #1.

    When we got Earl Washington released for the murder of Rebecca Williams, we did so through DNA, which ended up matching a person who was already in prison on an unrelated rape and murder charge. The Commonwealth decided that since the person was already behind bars and would not be getting out, it wasn't worth the time or money to the Commonwealth to prosecute this person. In that case I have no doubt in my mind who did it. I sent a letter, every single week, without fail to the Attorney General's office demanding justice for this woman and her family--for years!

    I would feel comfortable with any one of them living next door to me and my three children. I am not, however, comfortable with just chalking it all up to ridiculous and more importantly an illegally obtained statement from a borderline mentally retarded kid who wanted his dad to get a new truck with reward money and, a troubled teen with no connection to the victim's metal health record and crazy statements and beyond that, zero physical evidence. For me it is about justice and the knowledge that protecting the rights of others, even my enemy, is also protecting the rights of myself and my children. And for anyone who is okay with so little as proof, I hope and pray that the people you know and who care about you don't share your feelings, should you ever be falsely accused of something. It can happen to anyone.

  12. #12
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    3,350
    Quote Originally Posted by justthinkin View Post
    No sour grapes. The WM3 were guilty, are now guilty, and IMO, always will be guilty. I don't believe any other culprit exists now or then.

    I also believe the continuing search to find "the real killer" is proof that somewhere in the dark recesses of supporters' minds is a nagging doubt of the innocence of the WM3. In the minds of some it may very well be a subconscious thought. That's what the search is all about, putting to rest that doubt.
    No, its about finding out who killed three children.

  13. #13
    Here is exactly what happened on 8/19 and perhaps another answer as to why Jessie did not attend the party:

    http://wm3org.typepad.com/files/alford-plea-dj.pdf

    #3 on the pages where their conditions are located states that for the 10 years they are on SIS Jason and Damien are not allowed to associate with anyone who has been convicted of a felony (except each other, Jessie not included).

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by HRCODEPINK View Post
    Here is exactly what happened on 8/19 and perhaps another answer as to why Jessie did not attend the party:

    http://wm3org.typepad.com/files/alford-plea-dj.pdf

    #3 on the pages where their conditions are located states that for the 10 years they are on SIS Jason and Damien are not allowed to associate with anyone who has been convicted of a felony (except each other, Jessie not included).
    I had noticed that, too, and wondered the same. If so, that's pretty crappy on the part of the State. IMO, Jessie should have been included. I haven't seen his SIS terms yet, but I haven't looked today. Are they there?

    But onward and upward! Supporters now are continuing to work to have Damien, Jason and Jessie fully exonerated, and we have some pretty deep pockets behind us, too. I don't know how long the fight will take, but I intend to help however I can.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Compassionate Reader View Post
    I had noticed that, too, and wondered the same. If so, that's pretty crappy on the part of the State. IMO, Jessie should have been included. I haven't seen his SIS terms yet, but I haven't looked today. Are they there?

    But onward and upward! Supporters now are continuing to work to have Damien, Jason and Jessie fully exonerated, and we have some pretty deep pockets behind us, too. I don't know how long the fight will take, but I intend to help however I can.
    I believe that it is in those papers, starting at the bottom of the 9th page with the conditions including the bit about not having anything to do with convicted felons.

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