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Jason Baldwin

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Charles Jason Baldwin [1](born April 11, 1977) is one of the three members of what has been called the West Memphis 3 (Baldwin, Damien Echols, and Jessie Misskelley). The three were accused and convicted of a triple homicide in West Memphis, Arkansas.


Baldwin was arrested on June 3, 1993. He was tried jointly with Echols, while Misskelley was tried separately (Misskelley confessed and implicated Baldwin and Echols). The jury convicted both defendants of murder. Baldwin received a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

After the Arkansas Supreme Court denied his direct appeal in 1996, Baldwin filed a Petition for Relief under Rule 37 the following year. (Rule 37 deals with ineffective assistance of the original trial counsel.) Because the original Petition was filed in a timely manner, it is an avenue of appeal that is still available to be pursued, as shown in a Joint Status Memorandum filed on June 2, 2004.

New evidence

In 2000, work began on developing evidence that would support an "actual innocence" claim. In 2001, Baldwin filed a motion to have evidence properly preserved and made available for DNA testing, and requested a hearing on the issue. After a lengthy delay, in 2003, Burnett entered an Order for Preservation of Evidence, without holding a hearing.

At this time, the DNA testing requested by all three is proceeding. Burnett signed the Order for DNA Testing, which was filed June 2, 2004. Getting all parties to agree on what specifically would be tested, where it would be tested, etc., was a time-consuming process. According to the DNA Status Report filed on July 17, "none of the genetic material recovered at the scene of the crimes was attributable to Mr. Echols, Echols co-defendant, Jason Baldwin, or defendant Jessie Misskelley."[2]

As mandated by the court, Paul Ford prepared Baldwin's direct appeal to the Arkansas Supreme Court, but Ford has not represented Baldwin since. Nor has Robin Wadley, Baldwin's other trial attorney, who has been disbarred for reasons unrelated to this case. Another legal team is conducting Baldwin's appeals and are working in conjunction with Echols and Misskelley's lawyers on DNA issues and investigation.


This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Jason Baldwin. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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