After 18 years, three men from Arkansas convicted of murdering three young boys on what is widely regarded as flimsy-to-nonexistant evidence have been released from prison via a plea deal following new DNA evidence that found no trace of the accused at the crime scene. The actual deal is a legal manuever that allows the men to go free and mantain their innocence while conceding that the state did have enough evidence to convict them; which kind of sucks but at least must be preferable to Death Row.
The case had been the subject of two HBO documentaries called "Paradise Lost" that brought national attention, and especially galvanized fans and musicians of the metal genre into activism (the doc was the first time Metallica had allowed their songs to be used in any movie) via the implication that the state had targeted them based on their affinity for heavy-metal music and clothing (this was 1993, during one of the "metal is secretly satanic" panics.) A third installment of the series was planned to debut at Toronto this year, and presumably now needs a new ending.
While the case had long earned the attention of famous activists, it was learned today that a great deal of the money and coordination of efforts that led to the new evidence and the new case was quietly being set up and spearheaded by "Lord of The Rings" helmer Peter Jackson and his partner Fran Walsh.