17 June 2014

New book out today by Damien Echols of the West Memphis Three

Over the years, I've written a number of columns and blog posts about the West Memphis Three - a trio of men who were convicted as teenagers for the 1993 murders of three eight-year-old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. Presumed ringleader Damien Echols, who was 18 years old at the time of the murders, was sentenced to death. His codefendants, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Miskelley, Jr., who were still minors at the time, were both sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. There was no physical evidence connecting them to the murders. The conviction was based on a coerced confession by the intellectually disabled Miskelley and the testimonies of two witnesses who later recanted.

In 2011, the three were released on a controversial plea deal, after DNA evidence was discovered that would likely have proven their innocence.

In 2010, I met Echols at a book-signing event when he was promoting his first memoir, Life After Life, which was very good reading.

Today, Echols' new book, which he co-authored with his wife, Lorri Davis, will hit the bookstores. Echols and Davis met, fell and love, and got married all while he was on death row. All the while, Davis fought tirelessly for her husband's freedom, and led a full-time campaign to prove his innocence. Their new book, Yours for Eternity: A Love Story on Death Row", tells their love story through the letters they exchanged.

I just downloaded it to my Kindle, and I can't wait to dig in.

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