Longtime readers have had to read my thoughts on this before, but no film has ever affected me quite as much or in the way that Paradise Lost did. It is a breathtaking documentary, lifting the veil on a depressingly inadequate justice system and some stupidly brash teenagers that got caught up in it. 16 or so years later, they still sit in prison, one on death row.
For the first time in years, though, they have some decent news on the legal front. The Arkansas Supreme Court has ruled that the judge in the case must hold a hearing to determine the legal ramifications of new DNA tests.
The Memphis Commercial-Appeal editorial board is not sure of the boys' innocence. Neither am I. But they recognize that a new inquiry is necessary:
It was an extraordinary ruling by the court, rightly delivered without fear that a horrible miscarriage of justice might be revealed 17 years after the defendants were first placed behind bars.
Evidence collected by both the defense and the prosecution will be presented. It won't be necessary for the defendants to prove their innocence, but they might get a chance to show that there is enough doubt about guilt to set them free.