WM3 defendant Jason Baldwin advocates cameras in court

© John Lyon, Arkansas News Bureau

LITTLE ROCK (Arkansas News Bureau) -- Jason Baldwin believes he would still be in prison serving a life sentence for capital murder if cameras had not been present at his trial.

Baldwin, 35, was convicted in 1994 along with Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelley Jr. in the 1993 slayings of three young boys in West Memphis. The filming of their trials, and use of the footage in the HBO documentary "Paradise Lost" helped start an international movement to free the men by people who believed they were unjustly convicted.

Baldwin, Echols and Misskelley, who came to be known as the West Memphis Three, were freed last year in a controversial plea deal that allowed them to continue maintaining their innocence while pleading guilty to the killings. Echols had been sentenced to die and Baldwin and Misskelley had received life sentences.

Without the trial footage, "no one would have known of the terrible injustice that occurred," Baldwin said Thursday during a panel discussion on cameras in the courtroom at the Clinton presidential library. "We would have just been forgotten, swept up under the rug. Damien would have been executed and Jessie and I would have just been left there to grow old and pass away and find ourselves in the prison cemetery."

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