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— A new judge has been appointed to oversee evidentiary hearings for the three men convicted of murdering three West Memphis Cub Scouts in 1993.

Circuit Court Judge David Laser was selected to preside over the hearings for Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, who are known by supporters as the West Memphis Three. The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled last month that a new judge must consider the case after the previous judge, David Burnett, was elected to the state Senate.

The high court ordered new hearings for the convicted inmates, saying that a judge must consider newly analyzed DNA evidence and other claims of innocence in determining whether the men deserve a new trial. Echols was sentenced to death for the murders, and Baldwin and Misskelley received life sentences.

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  • Corvette
    December 1, 2010 at 11:28 a.m.

    I hope he is as good as Judge Burnett.

  • cables
    December 1, 2010 at 2:02 p.m.

    I am glad to see that these three are going to get a new hearing. I am not saying they are innocent, but it seems like they were rushed to trial and convicted. A lot of information has surfaced since the trial which was not presented and if it exonerates them, then so be it. Every American has the right to a fair trial. I am not sure they got one the first time.

  • Coralie
    December 1, 2010 at 2:34 p.m.

    I'm pretty sure they didn't get a fair trial.
    And I've heard of numerous other unfair trials even in death penalty cases.
    That's a good reason to reject the death penalty.