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story.lead_photo.caption Damien Echols, right, and his wife Lorri attend a news conference at the Craighead County Court House in Jonesboro, Ark., Friday, Aug. 19, 2011, after Echols and two other men entered guilty pleas to to crimes they say they did not commit in order to be set free. The defendants, known by their supporters as the West Memphis 3, agreed to a legal maneuver that lets them maintain their innocence while acknowledging prosecutors have enough evidence against them. - Photo by AP / Danny Johnston

— The West Memphis murders in 1993 riveted a state, if not a nation, from the onset.

Over the years, proving the innocence of who supporters called the West Memphis 3 became a cause celebre.

And 18 years later, here is what the world is saying about the latest development — that Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley will go free.

Memorable Tweets:

1NatalieMaines: Beautiful things went down in Arkansas today. Beautiful beautiful things. Everyone's screaming in joy! It's done. 18 years too long.

autumntdub: I'm glad the 3 are free, but I am genuinely upset they had to plead guilty to do so.

LarryDWhite: I feel for the families of these WM3Boy Scouts Stevie Branch, Michael Moore, & Christopher Byers. Still no answers & no peace 4 them.

Will_Sherry: We will make you plead guilty for a crime we know you did not commit, release you, and oh by the way you can't sue us! #wm3 #legalfail

gwenmoritz: I'm not morally opposed to death penalty, but should be reserved for cases in which there is no doubt at all. #WM3 Echols wasn't that case.

spiderborland: Hey, I'm just happy they're out of jail. I don't care if it's right or if "justice has been served."

kerusdotorg: I kind of feel bad for the families of the victims in the #WM3 case, the police will never search for the real killers now.

jdfwoods: Today the 90's "Goth" teen inside me is lighting a smoke and raising my Zippo high in a happy salute to the release of the #wm3!

MrVDiCostanzo: ARKANSAS JOB AP(P)LICATION FORM: Have you ever been convicted of a crime? [] YES []NO []OTHER #WM3

StealthBlue: "I did not want to take this deal, but they were trying to kill Damien." -- Jason Baldwin. <--- Now THAT is Friendship.

RevNickie: We were so much more hardcore than kids today. No one will ever go to jail for listening to Ke$ha or Coldplay, or WHATEVER.


Arkansas Online staff will update this story throughout the day. What are some memorable comments you saw or heard about the case today?


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Archived Comments

  • DavidHarten
    August 19, 2011 at 3:32 p.m.

    Some comments from our Facebook wall.

    Johnny Partridge - They get a book and a movie deal.. Lifetime, here they come.

    Tom Rob Frazier - they will kill much for the jury....why have a trial and conviciton if a judge can just spring these killers???

    Gail Dressler Mayfield - Guess SOMEBODY should try to find out who killed those little boys 18 yrs ago....

    Kristen Ann Edwards - ‎@Tom: Because sometimes our "justice system" gets it wrong.

    Lori Kurts Holmes - Not enough to make up for all the years they've lost.

    Todd Alexander - ‎@Tom: Have you followed the story AT ALL?!!?!? Surely you're not that naive. These are innocent men, sentenced when they were innocent boys for a crime they didn't commit. The only reason they pled guilty is for freedom the courts denied them. They only reason they HAD to plead guilty is because the courts wanted to cover their own asses. This is a travesty. So many years have been taken from these men, nothing can ever replace what they lost. Not money, movies, book deals...nothing. DNA says they didn't do it and a father of one of the victims says the same. The real question is, will the actual killer(s) ever be caught??? Will the three little boys who lost their life ever be avenged??? Did you even know there were three victims???

    L. Beth Maxey - Now let's find the real murderer.

    Leslie Wilson - ‎120 month probation. No travel restrictions. The 2ed grade little boys went to Heaven. The Memphis Three served 18.5 years, are now free, and will be watched for the next 10 years. Prayers for everyone!!