The West Memphis Three Essay

The West Memphis Three Essay

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There are many prisoners sitting in prison today for a crime not committed by them. Sometimes, the law rushes into convictions before getting complete facts. Maybe a small town needed revenge which could lead to a wrong conviction. It could be from “ignorance of the law”. Most are not aware of their rights and what could be said that might falsely incriminate a person. There are also the forced confessions by police who threaten or use scare tactics to get a false confession. Most wrongfully convicted are sitting in prison for witness misidentification. Police not taking the time to get actual proof of guilt have ruined innocent lives. Is it fair for a person to serve time for a crime they did not commit? Why is a person still serving time when the evidence is there proving their innocence? Today, DNA testing has become more evident to solving cases in proving guilt or innocence. I am focusing on a case of three boys convicted of murders with no substantial evidence to prove guilt and how DNA evidence could help them receive an acquittal they have anticipated for eighteen years.
According to the Innocence Project website, there have been 272 post conviction DNA exonerations in the United States (“Innocence”). Since the late 1980’s, DNA testing has exonerated more than 250 wrongly convicted people, who spent an average of 13 years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit (Rosen, New York Times, 2011). There are a total of 205 exonerations that have been won in 34 states since 2000, and 35 percent of those confessions were done by a person that was eighteen years old or younger (“Innocence”). An example of a confession gone wrong from a person under eighteen years old is the case known as the “West Memphis Three”. The case involve...


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...hildren.



Works Cited
Steel, Fiona. “The West Memphis Three”. 1 July 2011. http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/famous/memphis/index_1.html.
InnocenceProject.org, “The Fact Sheet”. Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University. 13 July 2011. http://www.innocenceproject.org/Content/Facts_on_PostConviction_DNA_Exonerations.php.
Rosen, Jeffrey. “The Wrongful Conviction as Way of Life”. 26 May 2011. The New York Times. 12 July 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/29/books/review/book-review-convicting-the-innocent-where-criminal-prosecutions-go-wrong-by-brandon-l-garrett.html.
Parker, Suzi. “West Memphis Three: Three men convicted, DNA evidence reopens case”. 26 November 2010. The Christian Science Monitor. 12 July 2011. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2010/1116/West-Memphis-Three-Three-men-convicted-DNA-evidence-reopens-case.

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