More later, but the breaking news is that a judge in Jonesboro has denied new trials for Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, who were convicted in the West Memphis Three murder case.
No surprise. Judge David Burnett won't hurt his bid for state Senate by keeping the men in prison..
As appeals develop, it would be nice if the state Supreme Court actually allowed full public participation in the proceedings by opening critical sealed material considered in the appeals. If two men are to serve lives in prison and Damien Echols is to be executed, the public deserves to know everything the judge knew about allegations of jury tampering.
ALSO: In a weird convergence of events, Burnett today DID commute a death sentence for another capital crime convict who had inadequate counsel at his trial. This defendant admitted killing a young woman who'd broken up with him.
A statement follows from a group working for the West Memphis Three:Jason Baldwin, Jessie Misskelley and Damien Echols are innocent and should have their convictions overturned for crimes they did not commit. Judge David Burnett's decision only allows these tragic circumstances to continue. With all the new evidence of their innocence, including blatant jury misconduct, DNA linking others to the crime scene, forensic testimony from the country's leading pathologists and, what is universally recognized as a false confession, what more does it take to free these innocent men? It is time for justice in the courts of Arkansas. Right a terrible wrong. Overturn these convictions and find and prosecute those guilty of the murder of the three young boys in West Memphis in 1993.