Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

The official Facebook page for Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, coming soon on HBO is up and running. The third film in the Paradise Lost series tells the complete story of the newly free West Memphis Three. Follow us on Twitter as @paradiselost3
Directed by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky and Produced by Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky, and Jonathan Silberberg

Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr and Jason Baldwin were teenagers when they were convicted in 1993 of the murder of three eight-year-old cub scouts in a small Arkansas town. Local police and many residents believe the boys were killed as part of a satanic ritual only because Echols, Misskelly, and Baldwin wore dark clothes and listened to metal music. It is widely believed the so called evidence and confessions were coerced from the three teens. The Arkansas courts have refused to listen to reason and logic during the travesty that was their trials and retrials.

Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory is again from the film-making team of Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's. Berlinger and Sinofsky introduced us to the "West Memphis Three" in 1996 with Paradise Lost: The Child Murders in Robin Hood Hills and in 2000 with Paradise Lost 2: Revelations. Despite every rational thinking person believing the trio were innocent, the Arkansas supreme-court ruling which freed the men earlier this month did not go quite go so far as to exonerate them. It required the trio to file an Alford plea, which allows them to assert their innocence while accepting that prosecutors have enough evidence to convict them.

Like its two predecessors, Purgatory will be shown on the HBO cable channel in the US once it has completed a round of film-festival screenings.

"We've made the decision to let the film play as is in Toronto," Berlinger told Deadline. "We worked on it for a long time and it didn't seem right to rush a new ending. We'll tack on one more scene that changes the ending from a question mark to a joyous triumphant moment, but we'll aim for the New York film festival or for HBO."

The duo criticised the judge's decision not to overturn the original verdict, following which Echols was sentenced to death and Misskelley and Baldwin were ordered to spend the rest of their lives in prison. Instead, Echols, Misskelley and Baldwin were sentenced to time already served and allowed to go free.

"That the state of Arkansas did not have the courage to exonerate them and admit they made a mistake was shameful," Berlinger said. "These guys still have murder convictions hanging over their heads, and that will be there for the rest of their lives. And at the Arkansas press conference, they maintained these guys were guilty, and washed their hands of accountability.

"The real killers are still out there. It was a cover-your-ass deal to make sure there would be no lawsuit for a wrongful conviction. Damien was on death row for 17 years, hasn't seen sunlight in the last seven or eight years and was by all reports terribly treated. To not be able to seek compensation is just wrong."


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