Discussion in 'West Memphis III' started by Alchemist, Jul 27, 2016.
Why did Misskelly have a trial if he confessed?
A confession and a guilty plea aren't the same thing.
However, multiple confessions, several post conviction, are indicative of guilt.
I wondered why he had a trial, for other reasons. I caught part of a TV show, possibly right after they were released, that suggested that Mr. Misskelly's public school records indicated that he might not be making adult decisions.
I do not know Mr. Misskelly and have no direct knowledge of his school records. The TV show could have been out in left field.
Wouldn't Misskelly have to recant his confession in order to plead not guilty?
No. He could stand up in court and say he did it and still plead not guilty. "Not guilty" doesn't necessarily mean "I didn't do it". Example - not guilty by reason of insanity. A person physically committed the act but is still "not guilty" in the eyes of the law.
I believe I get it now. He says he was there but didn't commit murder.
He confessed originally, then pled not guilty after the fact.
Pretty sure even if he pled guilty, he would still have to go to court. It obviously wouldn't have been as long a trial, but confessors still have to go through the motions (I imagine because there are still whack jobs that falsely confess and even try pleading guilty to crimes they didn't commit -- but they still have to convince the state and the judge of their guilt before sentencing).
A guilty plea removes the need for a trial. That's why you sometimes hear of killers saying "I plead guilty to spare the family from having to endure a trial". A trial is to determine guilt or innocence. If an accused pleads guilty, that determination has been made - so no need for a trial.
Not exactly. In his confession he admitted to participating in the murders. His "Not guilty" plea simply is saying "I'm not guilty" - and that's it.
That is were I'm having trouble understanding. He admits to doing it but pleads that he didn't.
2 different things. He admits to participating but denies he is guilty of first degree murder. Hardcore criminals don't always do things that are logical or make sense. Like brutally murdering 3 little boys, for example.
He felt guilt and remorse, and so confessed (over and over). But his attorney would've likely told him to plead not guilty because he believed he could get an acquittal.
But don't forget, ultimately he confessed (over and over) AND plead guilty. So eventually, his confessions and his plea matched up.
Of course, many of us believed that JM was coerced into "confessing" by LE officials. His IQ is 72, which makes him highly susceptible to manipulation - especially by one in perceived authority over him. With such a low IQ, IMO, it was unethical at least to interview him without an attorney present - even with his father's permission! As to "confess[ing] (over and over)," again, many of us believe that the multiple statements were coerced, at least in some degree - that LE took advantage of a young man with a very low IQ because they were under pressure to solve the case. (It was almost a month old at the time.) I don't believe that LE didn't know JM was mentally challenged. In a small town like West Memphis, everyone knows who rides the "short bus!" So, despite their protestations to the contrary on the stand, IMO, LE knew that they were dealing with a very gullible "suspect" in JM, and acted dishonorably to close the case. IMO, police can lie - even on the stand.
As to why there was a trial, JM did recant the confession and entered a plea of "not guilty" to the charges. However, even if he didn't, as others have stated, there would have been a trial. It may have only been a "bench trial," which is more like a hearing. That would have been something that an attorney could have opted for, if he believed his client had given a valid confession of the crime. That would have saved the State money and the families of the victims grief, too. However, since DS didn't believe JM to be guilty (at least not by the time the trial was scheduled), a jury trial was held.
Here we go again. "His IQ is 72, which makes him highly susceptible to manipulation - especially by one in perceived authority over him." Firstly, there would be ZERO reason for anyone to use coercion to get more confessions after he was already convicted. And if he was so astoundingly "highly susceptible to manipulation", his lawyer would have been able to "coerce" him into STOP CONFESSING after his conviction. But he couldn't. No. Because the guilt was eating JM live. He was one of the three who actually had a conscience.
You just cannot have it both ways. You take one part of perceived logic and apply it to the circumstances, then take that same perceived logic and utterly and completely ignore it to fit your own narrative - of what you want to be the truth.
I won't bother arguing the validity of multiple confessions with you - as you clearly have chosen to sweep them under the rug, minimize them or deny their existence altogether. They are profoundly powerful and damning (especially when combined with all the other evidence), unless you have chosen to cover your eyes and ears and just pretend they aren't in order to maintain the illusion that these poor innocent teenagers were "railroaded" because they "wore black" and were sullen and because you proclaim to understand all teenage angst because you're a teacher.
Once again - that card means nothing to me. I was a sullen, withdrawn teen, exactly the same age at the same time, who wore black, listened to metal, had long hair and was persecuted by the jocks. And I hung around guys that were the same.
I've noticed in your posts you seem to have a real perceived connection with Damien. You talk about personal things with him now - like how he's been feeling and his mental state and whatnot - one would actually think, from reading your posts, that you have a personal relationship with him. I think your perceived bond that you have with angry young teenage males has given you the illusion that you are somehow connected to Echols on a personal level, and that you have this deep understanding of him and bond with him. But you don't. I think that's actually a very unhealthy and even dangerous mindset for you to have. I am concerned for you actually.
Another thing you post over and over again is that JM was "borderline retarded" and had this IQ of 72. Also not true. He was a dumbass, but he was not nearly the mental invalid you make him out to be. I've known dumbasses like JM, and not one of them would confess over and over to committing multiple child murder.
[FONT="]Here’s what his defense expert stated in court.[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: Ok. And the WAIS-R is the test that you use to determine the defendant’s IQ?[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: And in that particular test, what was the performance IQ?[/FONT]
[FONT="]WILKINS: 75? Let me—yes.[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: Now, you had in your file some past tests that had been conducted on Jessie to determine IQ, did you not?[/FONT]
[FONT="]WILKINS: Yes I did.[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: Ok. And in ’89 did you have a test, an IQ test that was performed on him to determine what his functioning was at that point?[/FONT]
[FONT="]WILKINS: Uh, let me—yes I did. I need to find the records to find exactly what—[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: Sure, Doctor, go ahead.[/FONT]
[FONT="]WILKINS: I can’t remember (unintelligible). Yes, I’m sorry. Ok, yes.[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: Ok, and what was that performance IQ in 1989?[/FONT]
[FONT="]WILKINS: 1989, uh, I’m sorry, it’s not in this report. I’ll have to dig out all the old evidence, I thought it was in this report and it’s not.[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: Sure, I understand.[/FONT]
[FONT="]WILKINS: In, uh, which year are we talking about now?[/FONT]
[FONT="]WILKINS: 1989 we had a performance of 84 and a verbal of 68 and a full-scale of 74.[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: Ok, and in 1992 there was also—prior to the time you did your examination there was another IQ test, correct?[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: What was his performance IQ at that time?[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: Ok, and what was his full-scale IQ at that time?[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: Ok, so the two past IQ examinations that had been performed on him immediately prior to the one that you did indicated that his performance level was in the average range, is that correct?[/FONT]
[FONT="]WILKINS: Uh, low average, yes. The first placed low average, the second one average, yes.[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: Ok, well am I correct in understanding that anything above 80 is in the average?[/FONT]
[FONT="]WILKINS: That depends on the criteria you want to go by. Typically it’s—Social Security uses 80 above, other places use 84, so yea.[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: So, by most criteria 84 and 88 would be in the average range?[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: Ok. And when we talk about performance IQ, describe what that is, what that involves.[/FONT]
[FONT="]WILKINS: Those entail, problem solving, conceptualization tasks, thinking tasks, they’re non-verbal. Example is putting together puzzles. Being able to—I show you a pattern of blocks and you have to build designs that match the pattern of blocks. It’s conceptualization in a non-verbal form, problem solving in a non-verbal form.[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: And in regard to that he rates about average, right?[/FONT]
[FONT="]WILKINS: On those two testings, yes.[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: Now the MMPI-2, that was another test that you conducted on him, is that correct?[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: Now I don’t want to get too complicated ‘cause I don’t understand all this stuff, but I notice down here you said, let’s see, you said he had a high—or you said a mild elevation in the F scale.[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: Ok. Now Doctor it’s true that what you actually found was a T value in that F scale of 83.[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: Now are you telling me that that’s a mild elevation?[/FONT]
[FONT="]WILKINS: It’s an elevation above normal levels.[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: Well don’t they rank the elevations—as far as the T scale is concerned isn’t that something that’s actually ranked in terms of low range, middle range, moderately high range and very high range?[/FONT]
[FONT="]WILKINS: Yes. That may have been a mistake then. I may well have mispronounced what it was supposed to be.[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: This is a text regarding—MMPI Handbook. Show me here what an 82 to 88 T score on the F scale indicates to you in that book.[/FONT]
[FONT="]WILKINS: Uh, very high.[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: Very high?[/FONT]
[FONT="]WILKINS: Yes. This would not be quite the same because this is for the MMPI rather than the MMPI-2, which changed critera, but it would still be in the high range.[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: So when you put in here that that was a mild elevation, that would not be accurate would it?[/FONT]
[FONT="]WILKINS: No. It would not be. No.[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: And then from that statement that it was a mild elevation you interpreted that that could show malingering, right?[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: And malingering means what, Doctor?[/FONT]
[FONT="]WILKINS: It means, uh, making up stuff. Trying to present yourself as being ill when you’re not for some particular gain.[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: Did you explain to Jessie what these tests were being performed for?[/FONT]
[FONT="]WILKINS: We talked some about them in general, yes.[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: Ok. And he knew that you were coming to court to testify about the results of these tests?[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: And you talked with his lawyers before you took the test or gave him the test?[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: And do you know whether he talked with his lawyers that he was gonna take those tests?[/FONT]
[FONT="]WILKINS: Not that I know of. I don’t know.[/FONT]
[FONT="]DAVIS: Ok. Well, in your report you said that because of that elevation in that T scale—that 83 score, because of that mild elevation that gave you some concern about malingering?[/FONT]
[FONT="]So, you see there that Jessie’s IQ was in the 80’s? That makes him dumb, but certainly not retarded or even mildly retarded for that matter. Gary Ridgway the notorious Green River killer had an IQ in the 80’s and that certainly doesn’t make him retarded now does it? So the whole claim that Misskelley’s IQ was 72 should be viewed skeptically in light of these facts.[/FONT]
^ Agree. JM's mental state is always exaggerated. He was a "slow" teenager, but not retarded.
I always find it curious how supporters claim in his subsequent confessions how he had memorized verbatim the exact details he corrects from his original confession, by listening in the trial; and was therefore able to perfectly recite all of this new information he supposedly had just learned by simply listening (keeping his head down the entire trial on top of it). He's retarded, but he has the ability to do that evidently....right.
Precisely. Supporters have always done that - take certain facts and twist them to fit their narrative, but then ignore those same facts when it points to their guilt. The most glaring one I've encountered is the "JM was so retarded that he was totally susceptible to coercion and was manipulated into confessing", but that those same facts simply do not apply when it came to his lawyers insisting and begging him to stop confessing. So according to that logic, he's only retarded and susceptible to coercion and manipulation when it's of the greatest detriment to him - but when it comes to saving his own ass, he's suddenly immune to such suggestion. Zero logic there - total denial in fact.
Is this a serious question or am I failing to read sarcasm into it? I honestly am not sure if serious or not.
Correct on the first point. Only correct on the second point if you give them any weight. You obviously do and that's fine. Question for you though, if you put so much weight on the confessions. What would you do if someone else came along and gave a confession? What if that person repeated that confession multiple times? What if that person was more mentally and behaviorally stable? You would be in a real quandary because you place so much weight on a confession. Based on your argument, you would be forced to accept both because we all know "no one confesses if they didn't do it" yet you literally couldn't accept both because the kids were only killed once.
Hate to be a stickler but he denied it first, second and third. LE then led him down a path that some call a confession.
If he pled guilty he would only have to go to court for a hearing to make sure that his plea was being entered knowingly and voluntarily. Literally takes 5-10 minutes.
His "confession" is only a piece of evidence. Pleading not guilty is essentially just saying...prosecutor, I hold you to your obligation to have me found guilty. A confession is no different than eyewitness testimony, bullet casings or a fingerprint. It is just a piece of evidence and sometimes is credible evidence, sometimes not.
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