One year ago, on Aug. 19, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley were freed in Jonesboro, Arkansas, after giving an Alford plea that allowed them to keep their innocence even though they pled guilty. The three were convicted of murdering three young West Memphis Cub Scouts.
"We've got Damien, Jason and Jessie out of prison, and it will be easier to clear their names than being in prison," says Mark Byers, father to victim Christopher Byers. Christopher was one of the three boys killed in 1993.
Byers to this day wants the West Memphis Three exonerated.
"I believe there's too many people in power who have made their political career off this case and they don't want to admit they made a mistake," says Byers, "They would still be put in jail for all these things and the state, I believe, would have done to postpone things and held them there as long as they could to keep the truth from coming out."
There is one man still free that Byers claims is truly responsible for the deaths of those three young West Memphis boys, saying, "I believe the DNA was stated, the eye witnesses stated, I believe without a doubt that Terry Wayne Hobbs would be found guilty. The man has no alibi and even calls his own alibi a liar, he gets his story wrong three times in a row it's been recorded... one lie after another."
But it's not just three he wants justice for: There are six people, he says, that deserve it. The justice he continues fighting for and pleads to the state Arkansas for is that of the three young boys that were killed.
"What if it were your child in the cemetery or spent half their better life in prison? Would you want justice? What if you were a mayor or a lawyer or a doctor when this happened in 1993? There would've been more than two police officers spending more than two hours looking for your child," says Byers.
As for the three men, since their release, Echols has been working on a book, Life After Death, that is set to be released in September. Baldwin spent time on the set of an upcoming movie about the West Memphis Three case. Misskelley has been living a relatively quiet life in Arkansas.