Life After Death

Echols, Damien

  4 Reviews

For Damien Echols, the so called 'ring-leader' of the West Memphis Three, there is finally life to be lived after eighteen years on death row. Championed by celebrities (including Sir Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh) before being released in 2011, Echols, and friends Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelly were wrongfully convicted as teenagers of the murder of three boys in Arkansas in 1993.

Both an expose of the American justice system and a raw and gritty memoir of a life beset by many challenges, this is a surprisingly uplifting story of perseverance and hope in the face of bad odds. A powerful and unforgettable read.

Comments from Groups

We found it quite interesting to watch the documentary on You Tube after reading the book. Auckland 301

Very sad, engaging and quite shocking at times. Gore 005

Interesting and challenging. Not an easy read but thought-provoking. Auckland 174

While not exactly 'enjoying' this book, most found it compelling and an appalling indictment of the Arkansas legal process. The local community was easily duped by claims by a legal officer that the boys were cult members. The members were appalled also at the prison conditions, childhood life of the boys, and the difficulty of turning around the convictions even with famous people supporting the cause. There was also comment about Damien's remarkable strength in staying sane through 18 years in prison, and on Death Row. Wellington 120

Much discussion was generated by Echols' story and what he endured. All members were left wanting to know more details/ explanations of his legal case, and how he could have ended up on Death Row with so little direct evidence. Echols needs to write a follow-up! Whangarei 020



CHCH 194
Such a sad situation for the individual and for the society that allows this to happen. An excellent book for discussion and to reflect on our own lives and opportunities.
Quite a challenging read, both in terms of content and structure. Many in our group didn't finish the book. I personally found it fascinating in terms of the way this young man was persecuted from a young age, and also the insight into life on death row. However there were quite a few gaps in the story and the structure was unusual. Perhaps more was covered in his other books
HAVE 005
A great discussion was had by our group. An insight into how corrupt and unjust the American court system is, and how resilient some people can be. Life is tough.
CHCH 393
A disturbing story about injustice and resilience. The role of Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh was amazing.