Attorney General Slams "Misleading" Campaign for West Memphis 3

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Attorney General Dustin McDaniel says he hasn't seen any evidence exonerating the three teens convicted in the brutal 1993 slayings of three 8-year-old boys in West Memphis.

McDaniel yesterday upbraided the supporters of the so-called "West Memphis Three" for running a "misleading" campaign.

McDaniel says he doesn't believe there is any new DNA evidence that prove the innocence of Damien Echols, Jessie Miskelley and Jason Baldwin, who were convicted in the slayings.

McDaniel says that if he had seen new evidence exonerating the men, he would be the first one to approach the governor to do something about it.

Echols' lawyers say they plan to bring a new appeal to a state judge by the middle of next month.  The decision comes after U.S. District Court Judge William R. Wilson Jr. asked Echols to present parts of his new wide-ranging appeal to state courts before seeking relief from federal courts.

Echols, who is now 33, was sentenced to death for the slayings of Stevie Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore.  Baldwin received a life sentence without parole, while Misskelley received a life-plus-40-year sentence for the killings.

The three victims disappeared May 5, 1993, while riding their bicycles in their quiet, tree-lined neighborhood.  The bodies of the three Cub Scouts were found the next day in a watery ditch near their homes.

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