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story.lead_photo.caption Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley were released in August after striking a plea agreement that allowed them to plead guilty to lesser murder charges while still proclaiming their innocence on the record. - Photo by Benjamin Krain

— 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.

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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.

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Comments

  • quiet4us2
    October 10, 2011 at 11:44 a.m.

    I know I'm in the minority here......but I still feel they did it.

  • whocaresboutit
    October 10, 2011 at 11:54 a.m.

    The state will try to cause as much trouble and inconvience as it can against these 3 innocent men. So sad they can not sue for what they have been put through....

  • adawson84
    October 10, 2011 at noon

    I believed that these fellows were innocent for a long time-even after they were released. However, it was around that time that I did a funny thing-I actually read through the case info over a one week period and was startled to finally realize that...these guys are GUILTY. I don't even have any doubts about it. They are guilty as sin and it's not even close. Hey, I was as surprised as anybody. It shook me up for quite a while.

  • Cratty1967
    October 10, 2011 at 12:27 p.m.

    These 3 are guilty. All the evidence they had against them was tremendous. Is a shame that they are able to be free....much less keep getting special treatment. Child murderers that should never have been set free.

  • ikeswife
    October 10, 2011 at 2:06 p.m.

    As in the Casey Anthony case...will we ever really know?!? I have my opinions but prefer not to express them.

  • Redlab
    October 10, 2011 at 2:31 p.m.

    Yes these 3 are guilty and the evidence proved it. It was and s a very complicated case but the correct 3 were in prison for this horrendous crime. The State of Arkansas needs to quit appeasing them and if it wasn't for the "celebrities" involved who IMO really don't know this case inside and out as they say they do they would still be in prison where they belong. Law enforcement does make mistakes but WMPD did their job concerning this case and I am so sick and tired of hearing how WMPD messed up and also the medical examiners when they didn't. I think it is pathetic how the agencies that solved this case are still being accused of incompetency when the agencies were far from being incompetent. It is shameful.

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