I saw the Paradise Lost documentaries which were quite clearly biased in favor of the convicted's innocence and pointed suspicion and Mark Byers (one of the victim's stepfather; completely cleared now). For 2 years, Mr. Byers was the target of those who believed Echols, Misskelley, and Baldwin. For the last couple of years, suspicion has been firmly hovering over Terry Hobbs, the then-stepfather of one of the other victims. He was never considered a suspect by police, but he is clearly an SOB. After Mr. Hobbs shot her brother a few years back, his wife, Pam Hobbs began defending the West Memphis 3 and voicing suspicion regarding Mr. Hobb's involvement in the murder of her son and the other 2 victims. She, along with a list of celebrities who find Damien Echols' art and poetry intriguing (and think he was persecuted because he wore dark clothes and listened to heavy metal in the Bible Belt), have been fighting for new trials and freedom for the convicted murderers.
After watching a 48 Hours Special which included an interview with Damien Echols' wife and crusader, I was on the fence about guilt or innocence because I didn't have enough information to form an unbiased opinion. I decided to go back and look only at the facts of the case - propaganda and new personal vendettas in the families aside. This site has almost everything pertaining to the case:
In my opinion, the right people were convicted, though I know I'm in the minority and it's an unpopular opinion. I'm fully aware of all the arguments in favor of their innocence and the passion of their defenders, which I respect but with which I disagree. In my opinion only, the facts of the initial investigation point to guilt. However, I do think the prosecution focused too much on the supposed Satanic motive and their expert on the subject was a joke. There may also have been some jury misconduct. I believe these are the reasons that the State will no retry this case, especially with the high profile brought about by the likes of Johnny Depp and friends.
The confessions of Jesse Misskelley are quite incriminating; the transcripts of which can be found at the site linked in this post. He has 2 lawyers present that are begging him not to talk over and over and the LE present repeatedly tells him he doesn't have to say anything. Each time, he says it needs to be told. There is no coercion, imo, and Mr. Misskelley is mentally capable of understanding what is happening and what he is doing. He revealed some details that were later verified by LE. Also incriminating are the statements and attitude of Damien Echols, before, during and after the trial. I believe he is a psychopath and don't trust a word he says, then or now, but that's jmo... Some of his writings and statements while jailed indicate, to me, that he may have a true mental illness. He had indeed been in treatment for such before the murders. Here is a link to a Larry King death row interview with Echols in 2007:
The DNA of Terry Hobbs found at the sight and the lack of DNA of the Memphis 3 are compelling and I respect the opinion of those that think the West Memphis 3 were unjustly targeted. Imo, this is not evidence of innocence and does not override the case for guilt.
I hope to be wrong. These men are now back on the street. Whether they are guilty or innocent, I believe they will not likely be involved in something so horrendous again because of they have a lot of eyes upon them now. More likely, they, at least Echols and his wife, will be in front of the camera as much as possible.