Wrapped up my defense clinic boot camp today, woot! I think we were all dying to get out of there. It was incredibly helpful and all, but I think at least my brain reached maximum capacity around Wednesday...
So I was totally shocked and excited to wake up this morning to see there was a surprise hearing scheduled for the West Memphis Three at 10am, with the expectation being they'd be set free. The hearing hadn't happened yet, but families of the dead boys had already been notified. One of the fathers was outraged and had already spilled the beans, despite a gag order.
And yes, as it turns out, they've been released! I think it's bullshit they have to plea out and aren't being exonerated, but it's exciting to see them free after 18 years. I just learned the other day that an Alford plea is basically the defendant's way of saying yes, the state has enough evidence that a jury could potentially find me guilty, but I don't admit guilt. Apparently this is not an option in Texas, but it is here in Massachusetts. (And obviously it appears to be an option in Arkansas...)
One of the more outspoken parents heavily featured in the Paradise Lost films, John Mark Byers, had changed his mind years ago, and has since been very outspoken about their innocence. Byers is one strange bird no matter what his position, but the fact that he changed his mind is pretty impressive.
So it has been one long-ass week with a very positive start to today! Classes start "for real" next week, which includes going to court one day a week and all that that entails. I don't do anything substantive for the first couple weeks, but right about the time that trial team starts up is when I'll also be expected to start doing bail arguments, meeting with clients, etc. etc. etc. Which is Really. Fucking. Scary. :/
So beer me. :/