Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelley Jr. were released from prison in August after serving 18 years in prison for the 1993 murder of boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. “The West Memphis Three,” as they became known, entered a rarely used plea deal that labeled them guilty but allows them to claim innocence. Echols said they could do more to clear their names from the outside.
Filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky began raising doubt about their guilt in 1996’s Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills, and their cause was picked up by celebrities including Johnny Depp, Metallica and the Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines.
A second film, Paradise Lost 2: Revelations, was broadcast in 2000. The third film, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, was completed and screened at festivals in September, but its wider release was postponed to 2012 on the news.
Another documentary seeking the trio’s exoneration, West of Memphis, will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012. It’s directed by Deliver Us from Evil‘s Amy Berg and produced by WM3 supporter Peter Jackson.
The 2011 Documentary Year in Review Countdown…
Ford Foundation Funds Webified Documentaries
Michael Moore Sues the Weinsteins over ‘Fahrenheit 9/11′ Accounting
‘Senna’ Breaks U.K. Box-Office Records
Mobile device legend
Cinéma Vérité Pioneer Richard “Ricky” Leacock Dies
‘My Reincarnation’ Breaks Records on Kickstarter
Seeing is beliebing
3-D Documentaries Hit Theaters
Risks become real
War Documentarian Tim Hetherington (‘Restrepo’) Killed in Action
No flash in the pan
Popcorn.js Brings HTML5 and Interactivity to Documentaries
What if Banksy Wins an Oscar?
The Stop Online Privacy Act Catches the Web Off Guard