What are the
factors that contributed to the wrongful
convictions in these two trials?
What factors do you think were most
important, and why?
What mistaken assumptions by investigators
contributed to the arrests of the three
boys? If Damien had never dabbled in
witchcraft, is there any chance he would
have been prosecuted in this case?
Can you think of examples of police "tunnel
Do you think any of the actions of police or
prosecutors constituted misconduct?
What strategic errors by defense attorneys
might have made convictions more likely?
What rulings by Judge Barnett might have
sealed one or more of the defendant's fates?
Would a jury drawn from other parts of the
country been as likely to convict?
How many trials should there have been?
Why do people sometimes confess to crimes
they did not commit? What warning
signs of a false confession did police
Why might the two girls at the softball game
have become witnesses for the prosecution?
Why was virtually every official in the
state of Arkansas unwilling to admit for so
long that there might be a problem with the
What do you think of the idea of "crowd
sourcing" investigations into possible
Why do prosecutors so often turn to
"jailhouse snitches"? Do you think the
prosecutor knew Michael Carson was lying
about Jason's alleged confession?
What would have been your strategy if you
were defending Jesse Misskelley?
Damien Echols? Jason Baldwin?
Are there any heroes in this tragic story?