Thursday, December 15, 2011

Reese Witherspoon Toplines New West Memphis Three Movie, Devil's Knot

Hollywood is all over the tragic story of the West Memphis Three. We're talking white on rice here. Several projects are in the works, including a recently wrapped Peter Jackson film, and we wouldn't be surprised to see several more announced soon. The latest one to hit our radar is Devil's Knot.

According to Variety, Reese Witherspoon is attached to star in Atom Egoyan's West Memphis 3 flick as Pam Hobbs, the mother of one of the victims.

The West Memphis Three are three men who were tried and convicted as teenagers in 1994 of the 1993 murders of three boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. Damien Echols was sentenced to death, Jessie Misskelley, Jr., was sentenced to life imprisonment plus two 20-year sentences, and Jason Baldwin was sentenced to life imprisonment. During the trial the prosecution asserted that the children were killed as part of a satanic ritual. A number of documentaries have been based on the case, and celebrities and musicians have held fundraisers in the belief that they are innocent.

In July 2007 new forensic evidence was presented in the case, and a status report jointly issued by the State and the Defense team stated, "Although most of the genetic material recovered from the scene was attributable to the victims of the offenses, some of it cannot be attributed to either the victims or the defendants." On October 29, 2007, the defense filed a Second Amended Writ of Habeas Corpus, outlining the new evidence.

After a series of appeals regarding the DNA evidence, including an argument before the Arkansas Supreme Court in 2010, the West Memphis Three reached a deal with prosecutors. On August 19, 2011, they entered Alford pleas, which allow them to assert their innocence while acknowledging that prosecutors have enough evidence to convict them. Judge David Laser accepted the pleas and sentenced the three to time served. They were released with ten-year suspended sentences, having served 18 years and 78 days in prison. -- Wikipedia

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