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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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 the author of a self-published memoir, Almost Home. He and his wife, Lorri Davis, live in New York City.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
I have the shape of a dead man on the wall of my cell. It was left behind by the last occupant. He stood against the wall and traced around himself with a pencil, then shaded it in. It looks like a very faint shadow, and it’s barely noticeable until you see it. It took me nearly a week to notice it for the first time, but once you see it you can’t un-see it.…Perhaps it’s just superstition, but I can’t help feeling that erasing it would be like erasing the fact that he ever existed. That may not be such a bad thing, all things considered, but I won’t be the one to do it.
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Book Description Blue Rider Press, 2012. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Hardcover and dust jacket. Good binding and cover. Clean, unmarked pages. Ships daily. Bookseller Inventory # 1604120031
Book Description Blue Rider Press, 2012. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0399160205. Bookseller Inventory # UCLASALE-9780399160202
Book Description Blue Rider Press, 2012. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0399160205. Bookseller Inventory # UCLASALE -9780399160202
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Book Description Blue Rider Press, 2012. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "Wrongfully imprisoned by willfully ignorant cops, prosecutors and judge, Damien Echols draws on all his wits and his unique view of humanity to survive eighteen years on death row. My admiration for him, and the strength of his spirit, increases with every page." -Sir Peter Jackson, Academy Award-winning director, producer and screenwriter. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0399160205
Book Description Blue Rider Press, 2012. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0399160205
Book Description Blue Rider Press, 2012. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0399160205
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Book Description Blue Rider Press, 2012. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110399160205
Book Description Blue Rider Press, NY, 2012. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. Signed by the author: Damien Echols on the title page. First edition.2012. The book and dust jacket are both brand new. Price includes boxed shipping,a new,clear Mylar dust jacket cover,insurance and USPS Delivery / Conformation. Size: 8vo. Signed by Author. Bookseller Inventory # K-0000201