West Memphis Three.
Admittedly, I never knew much about this case. Years ago I had heard about it but didn’t pay much attention, even though I know that I should have because it is a case that involved everyone I know and everything I care about in very close way. At the time all I knew was that come black t-shirt wearing metal heads had been convicted of a murder just passed on the clothes they wore and the music they listened to. It was a scary reality but I dismissed it a witch hunt, I felt safe in my insulated little world full of black t-shirt wearing metal heads. The same thing had happened over the years with many artists and it always turned out to be a random connection that had nothing to do with anything other than abject hate and prejudice, paranoia and ignorance.
Tonight I learned more about the WM3 by watching a well-made documentary on HBO. It was the third installment called Purgatory, and it summed up everything that happened from the start. Over two hours I was taken through how the police had railroaded these 17 year old kids and painted them as devil worshiping psychopaths. From the start these guys maintained their innocence. I didn’t know that the victims were actually three eight year old boys, the police tried to say that this number had satanic significance, when really, even someone like me who learned everything about the law from shows like Cops, Law and Order SVU, Dexter and CSI, the obvious answer to me would be, convenience, those three kids hung out together. If the police can use that same theory to convict the older boys, why not assume the same thing about the kids. As I said though, I don’t know much about the ins and outs of things like that so I won’t debate the corruption of the government and how completely screwed up this story was. All the info is out there for people who are interested, all the craziness has been a major story in the news for years, for the sake of continence, I will assume that people are aware of the West Memphis Three and move on.
What really bothered me, what upset me the most as I watched this movie about these poor guys that have now been in jail for a longer period in their lives than they were ever free is that even though they were freed, they had to plead guilty to do so, this does not seem right to me. The most screwed up part of this story is that this government and judicial system STILL did not admit that they were wrong which means that they are still not trying to find who really did it. It is all well and good to release these wrongfully accused men but there still needs to be some sort of justice for these families that lost their young children all these years ago. Now this has become the focus as all the men are now trying to clear their names, after almost two decades. It is a scary state of affairs in this country; another example was the Casey Anthony case. Over the last few years it has become obvious that our legal system is completely broken, democracy and the economy is soon to follow.
More people need to wake up and I wish I had done so sooner. The rest of my evening is going to be spent doing research and learning about how I can to get involved and learning more about this. For a while it was all you heard about but now it seems like you hear nothing, that should really change and all those lives that were destroyed need to be able to find some sort of peace.
Things like this make me angry, makes me turn up my heavy metal and wear my black t-shirts proudly. We know who we are and we know how it comes off to others but like any form of prejudice, people who do not know will always have their own ideas about life. I suppose it is fair, since I do lump all rich, snotty, yuppies together. Everyone needs someone to hate, the differences between us will always be a focus point for so many people in this world. It will be those focuses of differences and hate that will eventually be the undoing of everything.
1/12/2012 11:58 PM