Friday, November 09, 2007

I'm gobsmacked

Um.... holy shit! What else to say? Actually, holy shit pretty much covers it.

The numerous pieces of DNA evidence have now been collected, and tested, and absolutely none of it links the West Memphis Three to the scene of the crime. Anyone who has seen either of the documentaries- Paradise Lost or Paradise Lost 2 - about the three young men, who were convicted of murdering three children in Arkansas in 1993, knows that they leave the viewer with a sinking feeling. You don't finish the films thinking that the three men are necessarily innocent- at least, I didn't. But you leave not really knowing who killed the three kids and that's particularly unnerving, especially as one of the three, Damien Echols, is on death row.

At the time, I thought was that the trial was a joke, that the three defendants were largely railroaded because they fit a ridiculous profile of ''teenage Devil worshippers'' that made sense in the early 90s imagination, and that someone needed to conduct a better trial. However, I wasn't ready to decide they were conclusively innocent, mostly because I'd seen a number of people do that with Mumia Abu Jamal and I think he's guilty as sin. Having read the West Memphis Three website over the years, I've become much more convinced of the young men's innocence as evidence has piled up exonerating them.

And now, DNA testing gives no indication whatsoever that they were ever at the scene of the crime. And, even worse, a hair found under the ropes binding one of the victims belongs to Terry Hobbs, the stepfather of another victim, whose ex-wife has accused him of committing the murders. At this point, I think you'd have to be an idiot to think that the WM3 are guilty.

So, now what?


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you've made up your mind...but what you have there is an opinion, I think. Why be so quick to call other people names just because they have a different opinion? Could be, yours is wrong.

Have you ever been wrong about anything, I wonder?

Rufus said...

Yes, yes. Sorry I called people names. Hopefully I didn't hurt anyone's feelings.

But, see, this isn't a matter of thinking that Pepsi tastes better than Coke, is it? There's a massive amount of evidence, counter-evidence, and so forth at this point. And given that evidence, it seems to me that there's, at the least, very serious doubt that they did this crime. In fact, I'd be willing to argue that the other 'opinion' has really very little evidence to support it at this point. And since my 'opinion', which, sure might be wrong, but which I'd hardly say is hasty since it took me eight years to come to, didn't put anyone on death row, while the other opinion- you know, the one with almost no evidence supporting it at this point- actually did, I can live with the possibility that I'm wrong. And since there's almost no evidence supporting the other opinion, I think they should be a bit more fair and, you know, not execute the guy. Makes sense, no?

Also, have I ever been wrong? What ARE you talking about? I think I admit to being wrong at least once a week on this blog. So?

I mean, okay, everybody has an opinion. And that's fine. But, that doesn't mean that all opinions are equal. If my good friend Jack has the opinion that he can fly, and I have the opinion that he cannot fly, we can agree to disagree. But, at the end of the day, there's still more evidence supporting my opinion than his. This is how we form a picture of reality, and it's the basis of things like science, philosophy, and the legal system.

clairev said...

i love snarky anons.

it's so lame to flame with an anonymous tag, leaving accusations or 'superior' statements, not letting the original poster have a chance to reply.

kind of a way to make yourself be right about everything huh? wonder how you'd feel to be wrong.


Rufus said...

Well, I did get to respond. But, I see what you mean- the anons seldom return.

They're like the wind... through my trees...

gregvw said...

Holly said...

As the person usually responsible for coming in here and trying to make Rufus eat his opinions, I'm going to stand up at this point and say that he, does, in fact, reconsider opinions almost non-stop. But, as far as I can tell, always with the introduction of new evidence. Drive-by chastisement doesn't seem very persuasive, or productive.

Admittedly, I have not tried this.

I guess I could just pick a pet peeve and spend my free time searching the internet for other people who have a different point of view from my own, and then anonymously trying to make those people feel bad. But really, I've got better shit to do, like watching my toenails grow.

Rufus said...

Actually, my normal response to drive-by anonymous chastisement is to don the little boy blue costume and pretend that I've angered the Governess and she's about to cane me.

...But that's probably just me.

Holly said...

uh... I meant your public/internet discourse reaction. That other thing is just for home. ... right?

Rufus said...

Well, yeah, it's private now- thanks to my neighbors and their stupid police!