Friday, September 21, 2012 | Categories: |
Damien Echols spent 18 years on death row in Arkansas when he was convicted of killings for which he has always maintained his innocence. Damien and his two co-accused were teenagers when they were found guilty of a gruesome triple murder in 1993.
The case of the West Memphis Three became well known. Irregularities in the evidence piled up. Major witnesses recanted and admitted they lied, and a key confession was obtained by questionable means. Celebrities got involved and money was raised to investigate the case and perhaps prove the innocence of the three convicted teens.
Now Damien is free. In August of 2012 the West Memphis Three were released in a controversial deal with the state. Damien Echols tells the story in his own words in his mew memoir, Life After Death and he joined us to talk about his ordeal.
He Who Gaffes Last
Just over four months ago at a fundraiser in Boca Raton, Florida,
Mitt Romney, at the time the presumptive nominee for the Republicans, uttered
words he might regret. Romney, assessing the American electorate
"There are 47 percent of the people...who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it -- that that's an entitlement."
No one in the room seemed bothered by Romney's tough talk. It wasn't
until earlier this week when those words were hauled into the daylight of a national campaign that the potential damage became clear. Removed from the context of a partisan gathering it looked like Romney was dismissing nearly half of his fellow Americans as parasites.
Critics on both sides of the aisle called it a gaffe. Some thought it may even cost the Republicans the election. But how serious is the damage done to Romney? According to our guest it's probably not very grave.
Want to know the limits of the powers of royalty in the digital age? See how successful they are in stopping the publication of the semi-nude pictures snapped of the Duchess of Cambridge earlier this month in Provence. The royals are taking legal action in French court claiming invasion of privacy and have brought injunctions against some publications.
But the pictures are already in wide circulation. People want to see them. Despite the availability of millions of images of other semi-clad or nude beauties, Kate Middleton's breasts command global attention.
We got in touch with Florence Williams, a science journalist and the author of Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History and Lux Alptraum, the editor and publisher of Fleshbot, to ask why.
The Fall TV season is not generating much excitement among those who write about the medium. Critics say "it's a bad case of been there, done that." Exciting shows like Breaking Bad prefer to wait until summer to roll out their new episodes.
How bad is it? The three critics we convened look at the fall schedule through two lenses: Doomed - that is, too bad to survive and Damned - interesting, but probably doomed as well, because you know, we just can't have anything good.
Is it too early to worry about losing the hockey season? It's still September, the scheduled opening day is October 11.
But it feels like whatever the owners and players are doing to resolve things is happening in slow motion. There's no sense of urgency in the boardroom.
Well, there's urgency among the fans. Simon Pond and Aaron Hagey-Mackay look at the bleak winter ahead.
Get in Line
Nerds around the world tried to sabotage global productivity by lining up days in advance for their brand new iPhone 5. Loyalty to Apple - combined with the geek culture around phones and PDAs - created this environment and Apple's not complaining. They expect to sell 10 million phones in a matter of weeks.
Dick Larson has seen it all before. He's a professor in the engineering department at MIT. He's also called "Dr. Queue", for his studies of queuing behavior. We asked him why so many want to spend so much time in line for what is, after all, a frikkin' phone.
That's it for us this week. Don't forget you can win a signed copy of Damien Echol's book Life After Death. Details here. Rave review here. Damien's story - where he came from, what he went through and how he emerged from it - is harrowing.
And we will see you next week on Day 6.
Have a great weekend.
Brent Bambury @CBCDay6