LITTLE ROCK Three men released from prison in a plea deal that settled their appeal of 1993 murder convictions will be allowed to attend the New York premiere of a film about their case.
The 2nd Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney said in a statement that a judge last week modified conditions that would have prevented Jessie Misskelley Jr., Damien Echols and Jason Baldwin from being in the same place.
The three men are slated to appear at the premiere of the HBO film "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory." It is the second sequel in a documentary series chronicling the case.
Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley were convicted of the 1993 slayings of three 8-year-old boys who were found dead and hog-tied in a ditch off Interstate 40 in West Memphis. Baldwin and Misskelley were sentenced to life in prison while Echols was sentenced to death.
The three men were seeking a new trial when prosecutors and their attorneys agreed to a plan to have them enter Alford pleas, a legal mechanism in which they plead guilty but maintained their innocence. In exchange for those pleas, which were entered at an August hearing in Jonesboro, all three were released from prison.
But conditions set by Judge David Laser would have prevented all three men from associating with each other, prosecutor Scott Ellington said. Echols and Baldwin were allowed to be together under the original order and Misskelley was allowed to associate with family members who are felons, but no provision was entered to allow all three to be together.
According to statement from Ellington's officer, Laser "approved a limited modification that allows the three to appear together at certain public events."
The film is slated to premiere Monday night at the New York Film Festival.