Thursday, February 9, 2012

HBO's Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

I'm not sure how the rules are for the Oscars. Maybe this was shown on a big-screen somewhere before it debuted on HBO. Nevertheless it is nominated for Best Documentary this year at the Academy Awards.

I have not seen the first two, but I didn't feel the need. This one does a good job of encapsulating what happened then, what happened since, and where things are now.

The story of the West Memphis Three has been one of those where I shied away from learning more because I knew I'd feel outrage the more familiar with the case I got. To me being falsely accused is one of the most violating feelings, and to know that these three boys were falsely accused of murder by an inept police department, a sensational media, a biased judge, and a jury foreman with an agenda, well... the blood boils.

For those who don't know the story, in 1993, three 8-year-old boys were found brutally murdered, and three teenagers were quickly accused of the crime. Somehow the police thought the murders might have been some sort of satanic ritual.

The injustices these three men suffered were aggravating, infuriating, and I can't believe that Judge David Burnett was able to stay a judge all these years and then get elected to Arkansas state senate. But their story is a cautionary tale. They may have ultimately been freed, but it never feels like justice was served.

No comments: