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Tags dna evidence , murder cases , unsolved crimes , west memphis three

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Old 25th October 2017, 04:20 PM   #761
Rolfe
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I've just finished Life After Death. It really is a most extraordinary piece of writing.

The first-person protagonist comes over as a strange, complex, multi-faceted character. Who is he? Well, if he's not Damien Echols, he's a fictional construct. In that case, who created the fictional construct? Because that person is as strange, complex and multi-faceted as the construct he has created. And the writing, the characterisation and the literary construction is way above anything I've ever seen produced by a ghost writer.

There are passages I just want to look at for minutes at a time. Some of the spirituality is astonishing. The stumbling-block addressed by C. S. Lewis in The Problem of Pain is demolished and dismissed in half a paragraph of blinding insight. This is far far more than a prison memoir. It's not voyeuristic or salacious or lurid. It really is the account of a soul rising up and through what was done to the body.

I'm not surprised it was a best-seller.
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Old 26th October 2017, 06:41 AM   #762
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I read a library copy, but just bought on kindle for 11 odd us dollars to reread.
Damien was plucked from nowhere by the hydra, so there is little reason to expect a literary gift. On the other hand where the only legal sustenance is reading, we should celebrate an accidental talent that follows.

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Old 26th October 2017, 07:01 AM   #763
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Particular talents can surface in the most unlikely places. It's the opportunity to develop such a talent that's the unusual thing. Ironically.

I do not think a ghost writer has been involved here. The book has obviously been professionally edited, like all good books, but the essential structure and narrative seem to belong to Damien Echols. Opponents will say, well obviously he's lying to look good and to conceal his guilt, but it's not like that. He doesn't try to argue his innocence at all. He simply takes it as read that he had nothing to do with it and focusses on his experience of what happened next. No doubt there will be factual inaccuracies - memory is a fickle beast even when you're not stressed out of your skull - and opponents will point to these and scream "Liar!" But the power of the book doesn't reside in the factual narrative but in the character painting.

If the person portrayed in the book isn't the real Damien Echols, it's someone Damien Echols invented. I think that would be a far harder thing to pull off than simply being himself.
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Old 26th October 2017, 07:19 AM   #764
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I was intrigued enough early when reading to establish that he indeed wrote it. I can't remember exactly how I was satisfied of that, but certainly I see strength of self that would not suggest major interference.
In some ways it could be likened to vocational psychological testing. Do you answer to what you think they want?
Or answer to explain who you really are.
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Old 26th October 2017, 08:00 AM   #765
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As I read it, I reminded myself that he could be lying or embroidering his narrative to create a favourable impression. However, the book simply doesn't try to make a case for innocence or even to explain away any damaging allegations. The book is the baring of the soul of the protagonist character, in a way that would be Booker Prize material if it were fiction dreamed up by a professional author.

So, the book either shows Damien Echols as he (more or less) really is, or Damien Echols is a writer of fiction in the Booker Prize class.

The book draws a detailed picture of a deeply strange, complex, complicated, many-faceted character. I don't know if I would like him if I met him. But what comes over is a powerful sense of someone who is not a depraved child murderer.
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Old 27th October 2017, 04:22 AM   #766
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Rolfe, I think you will find value in this book

https://www.amazon.com/Full-Circle-S...gloria+killian

This is no chick lit, I thought average writing to start, but the story explains how damn hard it is to get out of jail.

Gloria is everywoman.

For relevance, I am trying to show that one dedicated activist is a sine qua non. Lori saved Damien, Sally Ride's mother saved Gloria.

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Old 1st November 2017, 08:24 PM   #767
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
There were no animals in the swamp.


Add animals and swamps to the list of things about which Vixen knows nothing.
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Old 14th November 2017, 08:03 AM   #768
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It's too bad an inexperienced prosecutor new to the case gave these three a plea deal. They deserve the death penalty.

The Paradise Lost "documentaries" are shallow puff pieces. The facts about the Three are presented (with evidence links) here:

http://www.westmemphisthreefacts.com/
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Old 14th November 2017, 08:22 AM   #769
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Originally Posted by ChristianProgressive View Post
It's too bad an inexperienced prosecutor new to the case gave these three a plea deal. They deserve the death penalty.

The Paradise Lost "documentaries" are shallow puff pieces. The facts about the Three are presented (with evidence links) here:

http://www.westmemphisthreefacts.com/

Oh look, this nonsense again. Oh well, religious fanatics aren't known for their rigid adherence to evidence.
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Old 14th November 2017, 07:12 PM   #770
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Originally Posted by luchog View Post
Oh look, this nonsense again. Oh well, religious fanatics aren't known for their rigid adherence to evidence.
You mean like the court documents cited by that page? Actual trial and deposition transcripts of testimony and exhibits entered into evidence? That kind of evidence?
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Old 14th November 2017, 07:35 PM   #771
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forensic sand castles that deserve to be washed away

From the site in question: "According to Wheeler, forensic odontologists Homer Campbell and Peter Loomis are experts in both tool mark and bite mark identification." Forensic odontology is pernicious nonsense. I have not looked carefully into tool mark identification, but firearm identification is sometimes oversold. Forensic results that are based on matching (analyses of hair and fingerprints come to mind) are sometimes affected by "domain irrelevant information." These disciplines and their practitioners should be subjected to careful tests, yet few are.
ETA
I am not sure how someone can be an expert in both tool mark and bite mark identification.
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Old 15th November 2017, 09:58 AM   #772
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Even if one avenue of evidence may be challengable, there are multiple others, including Miskelly's repeated confessions both pre- and post-conviction, plus Echols' psychiatric records indicating his excessively violent tendencies.

There was plenty of good evidence on which the jury could (and did) convict.
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Old 15th November 2017, 12:44 PM   #773
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Central Park Five, Norfolk Four, West Memphis Three--let's count down

Originally Posted by ChristianProgressive View Post
Even if one avenue of evidence may be challengable, there are multiple others, including Miskelly's repeated confessions both pre- and post-conviction, plus Echols' psychiatric records indicating his excessively violent tendencies.

There was plenty of good evidence on which the jury could (and did) convict.
One, I give no weight to how many times a person is alleged to have confessed (consider Joseph Dick of the Norfolk Four). Even if he did, a false confession is still a false confession, and it would be feckless to ignore how common this phenomenon is. DNA evidence can only uncover false confessions when there is DNA to be analyzed, and for many cases, it is unavailable or would be irrelevant.

Two, I have little patience with conversations about a particular crime in which one piece of evidence is debunked and the response consists of words to the effect of "Well, maybe, but how about all of the other evidence?" I have been there and done that in the thread which we do not name. There are simply not enough hours in my day to disassemble each plank of this shoddy structure, only to read a response that does not honestly acknowledge that some of what has been offered against the three is drivel. If you want to present one piece of evidence at a time for genuine critical consideration, that would be another matter.
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Old 15th November 2017, 01:17 PM   #774
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Having read Damien Echols' autobiography, I have to say he does not come over as a violent psychopath. There was an interesting reference to a youth social worker (or whatever the US term is) who was convinced he was mad bad and dangerous to know, and repeatedly harrassed him and went after him for minor or nonexistent offences. It was that person who went to the cops and told them he thought Damien Echols was the murderer when the three children were found. So I take all this mental health problems and violent tendencies and so on with a pinch of salt. (There is also the point that six years down the line he hasn't reoffended or even appeared on the radar in a negative light, which in itself is worth something.)

However, be that as it may, even if Damien Echols was indeed mad bad and dangerous to know, that doesn't link him with the murders or implicate him in them. If Jesse Miskelley's confessions are disregarded we are still lacking any link between the three accused and the actual crime, and going on about bad character will never create such a link.
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Old 16th November 2017, 05:45 PM   #775
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Having read Damien Echols' autobiography, I have to say he does not come over as a violent psychopath. There was an interesting reference to a youth social worker (or whatever the US term is) who was convinced he was mad bad and dangerous to know, and repeatedly harrassed him and went after him for minor or nonexistent offences.
His own parents were scared of him. THEY told the psychiatric workers so.

http://callahan.mysite.com/images/500/1/150.jpg

Quote:
I take all this mental health problems and violent tendencies and so on with a pinch of salt.
His psychiatric files are a matter of court record (Exhibit 500)

http://callahan.mysite.com/wm3/img/exh500.html

Index to the file:
http://realwestmemphisthree.yuku.com...hols-Index-500

Quote:
However, be that as it may, even if Damien Echols was indeed mad bad and dangerous to know, that doesn't link him with the murders or implicate him in them.

If Jesse Miskelley's confessions are disregarded we are still lacking any link between the three accused and the actual crime, and going on about bad character will never create such a link.
We have no reason to disregard them. He spontaneously confessed repeatedly both before (the first time the day after the murders) and after his conviction. He confessed at least 6 times, possibly more

Originally Posted by Chris_Halkides View Post
One, I give no weight to how many times a person is alleged to have confessed (consider Joseph Dick of the Norfolk Four). Even if he did, a false confession is still a false confession, and it would be feckless to ignore how common this phenomenon is.
Right off, that link contains a lie. Miskelly was only interrogated for ~2 1/2 hours when he confessed. (10A-2:20P).

http://callahan.mysite.com/wm3/img/jmtimelog.html

Quote:
Two, I have little patience with conversations about a particular crime in which one piece of evidence is debunked and the response consists of words to the effect of "Well, maybe, but how about all of the other evidence?"
Criminal cases do not rise or fall on a single piece of evidence. Calling one piece into question does not invalidate the others.

Quote:
I have been there and done that in the thread which we do not name. There are simply not enough hours in my day to disassemble each plank of this shoddy structure, only to read a response that does not honestly acknowledge that some of what has been offered against the three is drivel.
Show me where I failed to acknowledge your point.

Quote:
If you want admit that the bite evidence may be questionable.
I did.
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Old 16th November 2017, 09:44 PM   #776
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I question the questions.

"Similarly, Burnett ruled that Dr. Richard Ofshe, an acknowledged expert on false and coerced confessions who received the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, could not testify before the jury that he believed Misskelley’s confession was involuntary. 'I’ve already ruled it was voluntary,' Burnett said. 'Now, am I going to let a witness get up here and contradict my ruling?'"
AND
"At Misskelley’s trial, Dr. Richard Ofshe, a nationally recognized expert on false and coerced confessions, testified that, in his opinion, 'the questions were more than leading. The questions were very directly specifying what the answers should be.' In private, he was less politic; after first reading the transcript of Misskelley’s confession, he called Dan Stidham and said, 'That’s the stupidest *********** confession I’ve ever seen.' link to both quoted passages.

Now I happen to think that Dr. Ofshe was correct and that the judge was biased. However even if I thought it were a perfectly fine confession, it would only be evidence against Mr. Misskelley, not Mr. Baldwin or Mr. Echols. If Echols' jury knew of its existence (as I recall that they did) and used it as part of their thinking, then they failed in their job.
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Old 17th November 2017, 03:14 AM   #777
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Originally Posted by ChristianProgressive View Post
His own parents were scared of him. THEY told the psychiatric workers so.

http://callahan.mysite.com/images/500/1/150.jpg



His psychiatric files are a matter of court record (Exhibit 500)

http://callahan.mysite.com/wm3/img/exh500.html

Index to the file:
http://realwestmemphisthree.yuku.com...hols-Index-500



We have no reason to disregard them. He spontaneously confessed repeatedly both before (the first time the day after the murders) and after his conviction. He confessed at least 6 times, possibly more



Right off, that link contains a lie. Miskelly was only interrogated for ~2 1/2 hours when he confessed. (10A-2:20P).

http://callahan.mysite.com/wm3/img/jmtimelog.html



Criminal cases do not rise or fall on a single piece of evidence. Calling one piece into question does not invalidate the others.



Show me where I failed to acknowledge your point.



I did.
Christian Progressive:
You watched the paradise series, and Fogelberg held up a knife he declared was used in the murders.
Was that knife used in the murders?
With the serrated back.

Go back to the series before answering because it was planted in the minds of the jury, and the knife predated the murders.
It may seem immaterial to you given all the other evidence, but it is a singular data point that should be examined.
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Old 19th November 2017, 08:58 AM   #778
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Echols and Baldwin's trial

"Echols raised a number of points in his new appeal, including an argument that during deliberations, jurors considered information that was not introduced as evidence at trial. His attorneys have filed sealed affidavits that they say show the jury considered the confession of Jessie Misskelley, who implicated himself, Echols and Jason Baldwin in the murders."
link to WaPo story
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Old 23rd November 2017, 09:07 AM   #779
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Echols as a photographer

I have seen some of Damian Echols' B&W photographs, and I would describe him as a talented photographer. He often shoots street scenes in New York City. IMO if you removed his name and just showed them his photos, people would be impressed by his ability to capture a curious little moment or an interesting perspective. Does this make it less likely that he was a murderer? I would like to sit on the fence just a little longer, but maybe.
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Old 23rd November 2017, 03:26 PM   #780
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Originally Posted by Chris_Halkides View Post
I have seen some of Damian Echols' B&W photographs, and I would describe him as a talented photographer. He often shoots street scenes in New York City. IMO if you removed his name and just showed them his photos, people would be impressed by his ability to capture a curious little moment or an interesting perspective. Does this make it less likely that he was a murderer? I would like to sit on the fence just a little longer, but maybe.
I didn't realize you were on the fence with this one. Velly intellestink.

Happy Birthday!
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Old 23rd November 2017, 05:24 PM   #781
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Originally Posted by Ampulla of Vater View Post
I didn't realize you were on the fence with this one. Velly intellestink.

Happy Birthday!
I should explain two things. One, I don't know this case especially well. Two, based on the reading that I have done, I doubt that the three are guilty. The evidence against Baldwin in particular is close to non-existent, but as I noted above Misskelley's confession should not have affected the legal case against Baldwin or Echols. What I am on the fence about is whether Echols literary and photographic talents tell us anything about the likelihood that he would participate in a murder such as this one.
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