Peter Jackson has been at the top of his game lately and his box office hit The Hobbit is just further proof of this. Jackson has also been very active as an advocate on the infamous case of the West Memphis Three, and his passion for the case is felt in the new documentary; West of Memphis.
Three young men - Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley – were imprisoned after the brutal murders of two 8-year-old boys in west Memphis in 1993, however their guilt was hotly contested soon after the verdict was passed. After numerous celebrities rushed to their defense, the three men all but became martyrs in the eyes of the media. To their supporters, the men’s only crime had been that they were outsiders and therefore, easy targets.
All of the publicity around the case, as well as an expert defense, eventually paid off, as Baldwin, Echols and Misskelley were pardoned, through the use of the obscure Alford plea, which allowed them to plead guilty, while maintaining their innocence. We’re not sure how that works either. The trio are now finally free men, but the publicity around the case is far from over. The documentary West of Memphis, which suggests that it may be worth investigating some other notable figures in the case, has been making the rounds recently. The film, directed by Amy Berg, has been playing at the Sundance Film Festival and has received some very favorable reviews thus far. Whetehr it will have any impact on the case is to be seen however.