If you paid attention to the news back in the early 90s, you probably knew all about the West Memphis 3 case and its controversial verdict.
Even Johnny Depp and Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder went public on their disagreement with the trial.
Need to refresh your memory? No problem.
Three teens were found guilty in the case of the brutal murders of three Arkansas boys. They were sentenced with the death penalty (for Damien Echols) and life in prison (for Jesse MissKelley and Jason Baldwin).
How were they suspects? Time was running out for the police department, and the pressure to arrest someone quick was hot.
Soon they found three teenage boys who wore all black and listened to heavy metal. Jackpot.
There was no evidence of involvement other than what many believe to be the coerced confession of Jesse MissKelley AFTER the arrests. At the time of confession, MissKelley was without legal representation and fell close to the border of mental retardation.
MissKelley later retracted his statement, claiming he was becoming increasingly fearful of the police, and that it wasn't clear to what he was actually confessing to.
Using the murky confession and the prosecution's claims of satanic ritual motives, the jury decided their fate.
HBO quickly aired documentaries, Paradise Lost 1 & 2, to increase national awareness.
All had seemed lost for the seemingly innocent men, but now it looks like they have hope at last.
Brand new DNA results have been released which exclude the West Memphis 3 from the murders.
It has also come to light that Echols requested papers alleged to have held one of the boy's wet clothes be tested, but the papers never made it to the evidence box. When asked for presentation now, the police department cannot find them…
Thanks to all of this new information, hearings have been granted for all three men. They are set to be held in December of 2011.
With the justice system failing before, and now especially with the news of an error made in Casey Anthony's case, we sincerely hope true justice can finally be served.
Not just for the West Memphis 3, but also for the peace of those murdered - Stevie Branch, Christopher Byers, and Michael Moore.
Tags: casey anthony, controversial, evidence, hbo, justice system, west memphis 3