In court, Echols’ taste for Metallica and Stephen King was offered as evidence that the three teens had murdered the young boys in an act of devil worship. What’s more, the jury, whipped up by media hysteria, apparently found such claims convincing. All three teens were found guilty of murder. Baldwin was sentenced to life, Misskelley was given life plus 40 years, and Echols received the death sentence.
However, the case was seriously flawed. A confession by Misskelley, who has an IQ of 72, was allegedly obtained under duress and intimidation. Meanwhile, a key witness who had implicated the Memphis Three retracted her statements, admitting that she had lied and was coerced into doing so by the police. There was also evidence of jury misconduct and improper handling of the crime scene.