West Memphis Three

July 8, 2003  - Posted at 7:21 a.m. CDT

West Memphis, Ark.  -- A prosecutor says he expects no revelations when evidence is put through D-N-A testing in the 1993 slayings of three boys in West Memphis.

Damien Echols, sentenced to die for the slayings, has until the end of August to have the items tested. He has been on death row since 1994.

The planned D-N-A testing that has delayed the appeal of his death sentence for nearly a year. Prosecutor Brent Davis of Jonesboro said an entourage of lawyers from around the country representing Echols and two co-defendants came to Arkansas last month to conduct an inventory of more than one-thousand pieces of evidence.

Davis says lawyers and prosecutors likely would agree on some items for testing, but he said a judge would decide what disputed items would be included. While testing technology has dramatically improved, Davis says he doubts new testing would exonerate anyone. Echols has maintained he was innocent in the bludgeoning deaths of second-graders Steven Branch, Michael Moore and Christopher Byers.

Echols' lawyers say they hope that more sophisticated D-N-A testing than was available ten years ago will produce evidence that someone else committed the crimes.

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