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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Time To Push Arkansas Gov Mike Beebe To Pardon The Memphis 3

They are out of jail, but still legally guilty of heinous crimes they didn’t commit. There will be no new trial because of the plea agreements. This is an outrageous dereliction of duty by the Arkansas prosecutors office. The only way to fully and finally free the Memphis 3 is for the Governor of the state, Mike Beebe, to pardon them.

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clemency process in Arkansas

7 Responses to “Time To Push Arkansas Gov Mike Beebe To Pardon The Memphis 3”

  1. Eric says:

    Don’t you have to be guilty of a crime to receive a pardon?

    I’m not a lawyer, but my understanding is that a governor can’t declare them not guilty. A pardon is only a declaration that no further punishment will be given. To be declared not guilty, they’d have to submit to a retrial, which apparently both sides have declined.

  2. LexG says:

    Is it 100% conclusive they’re 100% innocent? I saw the first doc, and it certainly made a persuasive case; Sounded like the 2nd movie went further in making the case against that one older guy… I understand there’s a third doc now… But is there like 1000% uncontestable proof the 3 didn’t actually do it?

    Just asking, I haven’t followed the story at all beyond seeing the first movie. Did someone unearth videotaped evidence of someone else committing the crime? How else can you ever be 100%?

  3. chris says:

    I think the point is that they were never proved guilty. You know, innocent until proven guilty? (And the second film would probably done a lot more to convince you, although I guess one of the victim’s parents saying he knows they didn’t do it isn’t enough?)

  4. anghus says:

    itll be interesting to see if a twitter campaign could end up righting some serious wrongs.


    @presidnetobama – these wars are really bumming me out.

  5. David Poland says:

    To clarify, Eric… they pleaded out for time served to get out now and to get one of the group off of death row, where he has continued to live in jeopardy of death, even though the conviction was thoroughly discredited years ago.

    The 3 would like a retrial. But now, they cannot have one, because as you wrote, they have now pleaded guilty.

    And you’re right. A pardon is not really a vacating of the conviction. But it’s as close as they will ever get now.

    The alternative was, at best, to sit in jail until early next year, get a judge to finally release them while they awaited a new trial, and then invest more time in a second trial, which the state couldn’t possibly win, but would likely stubbornly prosecute.

    And Lex, you’re right… almost impossible to prove a negative… that they didn’t do it. But there is now no legitimate proof that they did do it. And they have spent many years of their lives in jail based on evidence that would not see them convicted today. Moreover, though there are clear suspects, can’t prove them guilty st this point, as they were not properly investigated back in the day.

    And Anghus… a bit cynical… but writing your congressman/governor/senator/president is hardly a new idea… and it is heard. It’s not saving the world, but it is letting your government know that you are conscious of what’s going on and that it can’t just be swept under the rug.

  6. anghus says:

    a little bit cynical. If it helps gets innocent people pardoned, i dont care if its twitter, facebook, or sending candy to their offices. i just hate the idea of twitter becoming a primary form of communication for ideas.

    there are ideas that are larger than 140 characters.

    twitter is a statement machine for people who dont want to engage in conversation.

  7. Eric says:

    The Alford plea allows them to maintain their own claims of innocence– so they’re not even pleading guilty. And I think I would have taken the same deal if I was sitting in a jail cell too.

    I’m saying I don’t think there’s anything the governor can do. A pardon doesn’t give them anything they don’t have already. The pardon says “the state forgives you for these crimes,” which is useful to e.g. get you out of prison. If you’re already out of prison, and you’ve asserted your innocence all along, what good is a pardon? (Accepting a pardon would arguably put them in a worse position than they’re in now, because it’s an implicit admission of guilt.)

    As I said, I’m just a layman who’s trying to understand the legal proceedings. I think your heart’s certainly in the right place here. But I believe for a conviction to be overturned outright, it’d have to be done by a judge, not the governor.

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