Jason Baldwin, one of three men convicted of killing three boys in a famous West Memphis murder case, will join Pam Hobbs, the mother of Stevie Branch, one of the victims, at a screening of the documentary, West of Memphis, at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock today.
The UALR School of Mass Communication will host the free screening at 6 p.m. in Room 214 C of the Donaghey Student Center.
Baldwin, Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelley Jr. were convicted in 1994 in the 1993deaths of three 8-year-old West Memphis boys - Stevie Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore. Echols, who was 18 when arrested, was sentenced to death. Baldwin was 16, Misskelley 17. They received life sentences.
Many supporters who viewed an HBO documentary series on the case believe that the men are innocent and that they weren’t granted fair trials.
After spending years in prison, the three were released in August 2011 in an Alford plea, which allowed them to plead guilty while still proclaiming their innocence on the record.
Circuit Judge David Laser of Jonesboro sentenced them to time already served, as well as unsupervised 10-year suspended sentences during which they must follow certain conditions if they want to avoid additional time in prison.
Laser was scheduled to consider in December 2011 whether to grant new trials for the three men, on the basis of new evidence, but attorneys for both sides instead negotiated the unusual plea agreement.
West of Memphis is a 2012 documentary about the case by director Amy Berg.