West Memphis Three Free

    After 18 years in prison, a Judge has accepted a plea deal to free 3 men convicted in the deaths of three Arkansas Cub Scouts.  The plea deal gives Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley credit for time served.

    FOX News Radio's Eben Brown has more:

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    Jason Baldwin spoke to the media Friday following his release.

    Listen HERE to his comments:

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    Baldwin went on to say the group accepted the plea, agreeing to plead guilty because Echols was on death row.

    Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington also spoke Friday about the decision.

    Listen HERE to his comments:

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    The family members of the murdered boys were notified about the pact ahead of time.  The 1993 case captivated the nation with stories of satanic cults and the gruesome manner in which the 8 year old boys died.  Some argue the trio were convicted solely on testimony from one of the three who was mentally disabled, which differed from forensics.

    Steve Branch, Father of murder victim Stevie Branch agreed with the decision to release the men.

    Listen HERE to his comments:

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    Read a Statement from Damien Echols below:

    To all my friends and family, my attorneys and advocates, and to those of you from every corner of this earth who have stood beside us these long years, please know that I will forever be indebted to all of you for helping me to become a free man. Each and every day I was the beneficiary of acts of kindness and humanity from people of all walks of life, of all ages, nationalities, religions and political persuasions. The enormity of the support Lorri and I received throughout this struggle is humbling.

    I have now spent half my life on death row. It is a torturous environment that no human being should have to endure, and it needed to end. I am innocent, as are Jason and Jessie, but I made this decision because I did not want to spend another day of my life behind those bars. I want to live and to continue to fight for our innocence. Sometimes justice is neither pretty nor is it perfect, but it was important to take this opportunity to be free.

    I am not alone as there are tens of thousand of men and woman in this country who have been wrongfully convicted, forced into a false confession, sentenced to death or a lifetime in prison. I am hopeful that one day they too will be able stand with their friends and family to declare their innocence.

    This whole experience has taught me much about life, human nature, American justice, survival and transcendence.

    I will hopefully take those lessons with me as I embark on the next chapter in my journey and along the way look forward to enjoying some of those simple things in life like spending Christmastime, Halloween and my birthday with those I love.