The Book Depository Life After Death by Damien Echols

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The Book Depository Life After Death by Damien Echols
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Description: Life After Death : Paperback : Penguin Putnam Inc : 9780142180280 : 0142180289 : 07 May 2013 : The New York Times-bestselling memoir by Echols of the West Memphis Three, who was falsely convicted of committing three murders and spent 18 years on death row. In 1993, three teenagers were arrested for the murders of three boys in Arkansas. The ensuing trial was rife with inconsistencies, false testimony, and superstition. The Book Depository Life After Death by Damien Echols - shop the best deal online on thebookbug.co.uk

 

Category: Books

Merchant: The Book Depository

Product ID: 9780142180280

MPN: 0142180289

GTIN: 9780142180280

 
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Author: A V Rodgers

Rating: 5

Review: First of all, this book is beautifully written. Echols is someone with high intelligence, is very well read, and has a fantastic writing style. I simply could not put this book down, and used every spare minute I had to immerse myself into his life. I still can't stop thinking about this case. I remember the case about WM3 years ago, when the actual story broke and years later, when it was becoming more common knowledge that these three may in fact, be completely innocent. I remember Eddie Vedder getting involved. I can't remember what I thought when the actual story broke, I may in fact have been very naive and just took the story as the truth and believed they had indeed carried out these crimes, but I was young then and believed that the media doesn't lie and that the police surely don't! Now, at almost age 40 myself, I know that this view on the world is incredibly and sadly very wrong. We have so much corruption going on and that people in power are abusing their roles in so many ways. Its an epidemic in the world. I found this book incredibly sad, even before the murders happened and were discussed in the book. I felt myself wanting to cry for Damien's childhood experience, his parents simply were never really there for him (narcissistic mother and absent father) and he had to be shipped around from one caregiver to the other, suffering so much abuse from some of them. His mother couldn't' be on her own, and married anyone basically! they lived in extreme poverty and didn't have much food to eat at times. It was incredibly depressing to read about his life, I tried to imagine what it was like myself. No wonder he wore black and was fascinated by 'dark things' I was too at his age, I was incredibly morbid and suicidal because I was so damn unhappy at home. But really my experiences were nothing compared to Damien's. Damien's intelligence as I said, is far higher than the average person, especially those that live in a bible bashing area of the USA where they are more like sheep and believe everything they are told and don't have the brains to do their own research. I believe this high intelligence also added to him as thought of as being evil. He was so well read and knew so much about many different subjects because he was an avid reader who could understand so much. I think it intimidated the.....dare I say it, pretty thick minded police. Damien was targeted by the local police a few years before these murders took place and, as he was from such a gossipy area, he always stuck out like a sore thumb. So of course, when these awful murders happened, they looked straight at him. In hindsight I wonder if Damien ever looks back and thinks, 'If only I didn't wear those black clothes' as silly as this sounds, I do think that would have changed everything - he wouldnt have fit the 'satanic worshipping' status. Reading about Damien's experience in prison, on death row for a crime he did not commit was truly shocking, disgusting and horrifying. Its no wonder, and a test to his incredible ability to keep fighting - that he is not permanently crazy these days. I would have been and I'd say 99% of the population would be too. Who can get through repeated bashings, awful verbal abuse, living in such unhygienic conditions, eating disgusting food for years on end and not receiving any medical care. Its so sad to hear that he now has permanent physical injuries and cannot see very well. He did not feel the rays of sunshine on his body for a DECADE. that is cruel beyond belief not to mention so very bad for his health. Something that was so tragic was the fact that Damien missed out on his own sons life for almost 18 years. He missed out on the birth and getting to know his son. How can one get that back, and receive justice? As we all now know, the three boys, Damien, Jason and Jessie (no longer boys of course, but now fully grown men) are out. They are free, but not exonerated, and I pray that they will one day receive it. There's still a lot of ignorance out there, especially those that live in the state of Arkansas (huge bible bashing area not known for it's super intelligent people) still think they did it, yet they haven't ever been smart enough themselves to look at the lack of evidence proving any of them had anything to do with it and look at the evidence pointing to other people!. Simple alibi's were not used in court and SO much information was rejected. To get out, the boys had to say that they were guilty, but this is not an admission that they did it, but just to get out of jail. I would have done the same!! It was the Alford plea (i think thats the name) that was the only way for them to get out but some of the unintelligent people out there they think they actually 'finally admitted they were guilty' Um no, if that was so, they wouldn't have been allowed out! Do people really think that they system would let them out if they genuinely said they were guilty!! I think this Alford plea was used because it meant that the WM3 can not sue the state for the years of horrific abuse and lack of freedom that they had dished out on them. Imagine the money that would be required to pay these boys out!! Multi millions! Personally I wish to see the police officers involved in the case, who blatantly coerced people like Jesse into giving a false statement (Jesse is mentally handicapped, and was very easy to scare into lying) go on trial for what they did, same with the lawyers and judges who ignored many things in court that would have showed these three were innocent. and for the guards in prison who dished out so much horrific violence? I just hope that saying is true, 'every dog gets their day'. It was fascinating to read about Damien's spiritual practices to help him survive his time in jail. Meditation and buddhist practices and other much talked about practices, helped him use his mind to keep him sane and to help his body stay as well as it could. Damien says he doesn't feel brave about his time in jail but he so is. Many of us would have just given up and wouldnt have had an ounce of the determination and motivation that Damien had. A year in that prison on death row would have destroyed me, let alone 18!!! I also found the love story between Damien and Lorri so beautiful to read, it sounds like if it wasn't for her, the situation today may indeed be very different. I am going to be purchasing their joint book asap. I'm happy to see that Damien now speaks on TV about the Justice system (or lack of it!) and is receiving some major air time. Im also happy that Anonymous are involved in this case now too and hope that they can really help the boys become cleared completely finally. I hope that the next chapter of his life is full of amazing things, health, love, peace and happiness. I cannot recommend this book more, its simply brilliant and I am telling as many people as I can about this and the case in general. Best wishes to you Damien for a much better and brighter future!

 

Author: JASON

Rating: 2

Review: Having followed the WM3 case for around 18 months and watched the trilogy of documentaries I was eager to read this book by Damian Echols who was the only one of the accused to receive the death sentence. Damian Echols has stated that he wants to pursue a career as a writer and in visual arts, and in this book I thought that he was trying too hard, and I feel it would have been better had it been written by a professional because whilst I appreciate the extremes he has been through, he never quite got there in describing it well enough to grip my attention. The details of his early years were more thorough, but his prison life consisted of describing several of the other death row inmates and many pages of his prison diary notes. I was also surprised by his comments about Jason Baldwin towards the end of the book, Jason Baldwin to me appears to be the most articulate of the WM3, but Damian Echols puts him down and suggested that not only he remains a sixteen year old boy mentally but also that he wanted to stay in prison for school study - I found those comments totally unnecessary and not at all in tune with the facts that are readable elsewhere and from Jason Baldwin's own comments. Further, Damian Echols surrounds himself with celebrities, and is leading a celeb life (deserved), but needs to come down to earth a bit otherwise he will live a false life of self importance - totally unlike Jason and Jessie. Finally there is still the question of exoneration, and I hope all 3 of them achieve this soon - so there are more chapters to come but I will read them from other sources instead of Damian Echols ego !

 

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