Director Peter Jackson Financed West Memphis 3 Legal Defense Fund

0819 memphis three bn 02 Director Peter Jackson Financed West Memphis 3 Legal Defense Fund

It has been reported that for the past seven years Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson and his partner Fran Walsh have been working behind the scenes to free the West Memphis 3.  In case you aren’t familiar with these guys, the West Memphis 3 (or WM3) were arrested as teenagers and convicted for the murders of three young boys.  With very little circumstancial evidence, the police and attorneys basically railroaded these guys with no more of a reason than they were emo and listened to heavy metal.  I’m not kidding. So because one of the boys changed his name to Damien, the prosecution concocted a satanic angle and accused him of being inspired by Damien Omen.  Damien maintained that he actually chose that name because of Father Damien, the priest who worked with lepers on Molokai.

The horrific murders happened in a small town in Arkansas in the early 90’s.  Even though the rest of the country was advancing in their social awareness, what with Kurt Kobain screeching and jumping around in a white baby doll dress and all, this small town was crawling along not really understanding the idea that just because you don’t dress like everyone else, it doesn’t make you a murderer.

The prosecution’s biggest piece of evidence was a coerced confession they got from one of the guys who is special needs.  His limited mental capacity together with a total of 12 hours straight of interrogation gave the prosecution the admission of guilt they needed to get the conviction they so desperately wanted.  Forget about the fact that there was absolutely no physical evidence to place them at the scene; forget about the eye witness testimony that a man was spotted in a fast food restroom that same night covered in blood trying to clean himself up.

Over four years ago, DNA testing proved that the WM3 were not involved.  However, it was only just in the past couple of days that the (now) men were freed on a plea deal:  admit the prosecutors had enough evidence to convict them and they could go home.  This came after seven years of Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh’s significant contribution to their legal defense fund. This amounts to many years of funding private investigators, hiring forensic experts, working to uncover new witnesses and DNA evidence.  The boys have had a lot of high profile support over the years, but none of it has been as extensive or significant as what Jackson & Walsh have done.

Paradise Lost 3 should be hitting festivals soon. They’re now talking about making a feature film about them.  I’ve only seen the first one but the same guys made them all so I’m sure any of them will be very enlightening indeed.  Here’s a panel discussion:

0 Director Peter Jackson Financed West Memphis 3 Legal Defense Fund

[Source: Deadline]



pixel Director Peter Jackson Financed West Memphis 3 Legal Defense Fund

More fun articles: