Life After Death

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Penguin, Sep 18, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 416 pages
The New York Times bestselling memoir by Damien Echols of the West Memphis Three, who was falsely convicted of three murders and spent nearly eighteen years on Death Row.

In 1993, teenagers Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley, Jr.—who have come to be known as the West Memphis Three—were arrested for the murders of three eight-year-old boys in Arkansas. The ensuing trial was marked by tampered evidence, false testimony, and public hysteria. Baldwin and Misskelley were sentenced to life in prison; while eighteen-year-old Echols, deemed the “ringleader,” was sentenced to death. Over the next two decades, the WM3 became known worldwide as a symbol of wrongful conviction and imprisonment, with thousands of supporters and many notable celebrities who called for a new trial. In a shocking turn of events, all three men were released in August 2011.

Now Echols shares his story in full—from abuse by prison guards and wardens, to portraits of fellow inmates and deplorable living conditions, to the incredible reserves of patience, spirituality, and perseverance that kept him alive and sane while incarcerated for nearly two decades. In these pages, Echols reveals himself a brilliant writer, infusing his narrative with tragedy and irony in equal measure: he describes the terrors he experienced every day and his outrage toward the American justice system, and offers a firsthand account of living on Death Row in heartbreaking, agonizing detail. Life After Death is destined to be a riveting, explosive classic of prison literature.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ritaer - www.librarything.com

I couldn't finish this. Just too sad and depressing, even with the knowledge that Damien was eventually released. How we let kids with good minds be ground down by poverty and abuse and a crappy school system. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - merrittfamily1990 - LibraryThing

Excellent memoir by the alleged ring leader of the group that came to be known as the West Memphis 3. Damien Echols and two friends, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, Jr., were arrested in 1993 and ... Read full review

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Contents

Also by Damien Echos
Eighteen
Twenty
Twentysix
Twentyfour
Twentyseven
EPILOGUE
PHOTOGRAPHS
Twentyfive
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Damien Echols was born in 1974 and grew up in Mississippi, Tennessee, Maryland, Oregon, Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas. At age eighteen he was wrongfully convicted of murder, along with Jason Baldwin and Jessie Miskelley, Jr. Echols received a death sentence and spent almost eighteen years on Death Row, until he, Baldwin, and Misskelley were released in 2011. The West Memphis Three have been the subject of Paradise Lost, a three-part documentary series produced by HBO, and West of Memphis, a documentary produced by Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh. Echols is also the author of High Magic: A Guide to the Spiritual Practices That Saved My Life on Death Row and Yours For Eternity (with his wife Lorri Davis).
 
While in prison, Damien was ordained into the Rinzai Zen Buddhist tradition. Today he teaches classes on magick around the country and works as a visual artist. He and Lorri live in New York City with their three cats.

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