Entries by Mara Leveritt

IMO: Media’s role in the case of the West Memphis Three–my speech at The University of Memphis

If you shut your door to all errors, truth will be shut out. —-Rabindranath Tagore, poet, philosopher, author, songwriter, painter, educator, composer, Nobel laureate (1861-1941)  On Thursday, Mar. 24, I was the featured speaker at the 27th annual Freedom of Information Congress sponsored by the University of Memphis Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. […]

Misskelley’s attorney publicly opposes ‘confession’ bill introduced by former judge, now senator, Burnett

      In his first term as a state senator, former circuit judge David Burnett, who presided at the trials of the West Memphis Three, has introduced a bill in the Arkansas Legislature titled: “An Act Regarding Evidence and a Defendant’s Confession.” [private]The bill would change existing Arkansas law which now states simply that […]

Laser foresees three-week hearing in fall; sets time limits for requesting and testing DNA; wants briefs on juror misconduct by May 25

In a three-page order issued on Mar. 15, Arkansas Circuit Judge David Laser set deadlines for attorneys representing the West Memphis Three and the state attorney general’s office, in preparation for an evidentiary hearing that he said will be held “for up to three weeks (continuous)” between Oct. 1 and Dec. 15 of this year. […]

Prison tense over contraband; five guards attacked at Misskelley’s unit; others ransack Echols’ cell

A source reports that guards ransacked Damien Echols’ cell on Death Row last weekend while the prison’s assistant warden had Echols in his office, where Echols was accused of participating in a video recording shot with a smuggled-in cell phone. The search followed by a week an incident at an adjoining unit during which inmates attacked […]

A question of discretion

Last year, after the Arkansas Supreme Court ordered an evidentiary hearing in the case of the West Memphis Three, state Attorney General Dustin McDaniel responded that his office “intends to fulfill its constitutional responsibility to defend the jury verdicts in this case.” At a panel discussion shortly after that, a professor of law seemed to […]

‘Evidence that points the finger’

Judge to consider whether ‘non-match’ DNA would ’cause a careful person to pause’ [private]In the pre-hearing brief that lawyers for Damien Echols filed last week, they centered their argument for why he and his accused accomplices, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, Jr., deserve a new trial. It was all about “reasonable doubt.” As succinctly explained […]

New appeal blasts Burnett’s ‘bias’ in Misskelley case due to judge’s ‘politicking’ and professional censure of a witness

Attorneys list 11 points in appeal to state supreme court for a new Rule 37 hearing. [private]Jeff Rosenzweig, an attorney for Jessie Misskelley, Jr., filed an appeal on Friday with the Arkansas Supreme Court in which he argued that Judge David Burnett violated the U.S. Constitution, the Arkansas Constitution and the Arkansas Code of Judicial Conduct […]