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The circuit court judge who rejected a new trial for death-row inmate Damien Echols says the Arkansas Supreme Court was simply doing its job when it overturned his ruling and ordered new hearings in the case.

Circuit Court Judge David Burnett was in Little Rock on Thursday for freshman orientation for new state senators. He’s stepping down from the bench at the end of the year to serve in the Legislature.

The Arkansas Supreme Court ordered new evidentiary hearings for Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, the men known as the West Memphis Three. The court ruled that Burnett should have considered newly analyzed DNA evidence before rejecting Echols’ request for a new trial.

Burnett says he neither agrees nor disagrees with the court’s ruling — that he made his decision and the court made theirs. He says he did what he thought was appropriate at the time and that the court viewed the case differently.

The case will be assigned to another judge in the east Arkansas district, and no date has been set for the hearings.


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Archived Comments

  • DontDrinkDatKoolAid
    November 4, 2010 at 5:48 p.m.

    Thats good, to review the evidence with modern technology.

  • whitehsetter
    November 4, 2010 at 6:06 p.m.

    This judge decided that come rain or heck, he was not going to change his mine no matter what was brought forward at the hearing.

  • KingGator
    November 4, 2010 at 7:01 p.m.

    This idiot judge now gets to serve in the legislature.

    November 4, 2010 at 8:03 p.m.

    Im sure the judge just didn't know what this newfangled DNA stuff was. Its virtually brand new ya know.

  • shortgirl00
    November 4, 2010 at 8:12 p.m.

    New players, new hearing, new life.....

  • charlie3704
    November 4, 2010 at 8:17 p.m.

    If indeed these men did not do this crime and the DNA show's who the guilty party is, I feel this so called Judge David Burnett owes the tax payers court costs,leagle fee's and for feeding them and housing them. Maybe just maybe then a Judge will here all the facts. This trial cost the tax payer big $$$$$$. It has to end some where, and not my wallet.

  • johnwmcmaster
    November 5, 2010 at 6:36 a.m.

    How long is it going to take the ADG to get this trash off of this site?????????