As a late comer to this story this first in the trilogy just doesn't hold up with time. As a documentation of the questionable handling of this case it does its job but as a film it fails to completely come across as anything other than flat. There is a questionable tone to the handling of the victims' families too, which undermines the power of the piece. Worth a watch but a masterpiece it is not.
Damien was a smart kid who was angry and resentful towards "the system". He was a kid who had no idea how serious his situation was. The prosecutors are DOUCHE BAGS and what was on trial was a lifestyle. What a mockery. Even if the kids did it, there is insufficient evidence for conviction. He is gonna die too. They will kill that man. Bullshit
"Mr. Bojangles" The sighting of a possible black male suspect was implied during the beginning of the trial, at which time the possibility of conviction of the initial suspects seemed slim. According to local West Memphis police officers, on the evening of May 5, 1993, at 8:42 pm, workers in the Bojangles' restaurant about a mile from the crime scene (a direct route through the bayou where the children were found) in Robin Hood Hills reported seeing an African American male "dazed and covered with blood and mud" inside the ladies' room of the restaurant. Defense attorneys later referred to this man as "Mr. Bojangles." The man was bleeding from his arm and had brushed against the walls. The man had defecated on himself and on the floor. The police were called, but the man left the scene. Officer Regina Meeks responded (by inquiring at the drive through window) about 45 minutes later. By then, the man had left and police did not enter the bathroom on that date. The following day, when the victims were found, Bojangles' manager Marty King, thinking there was a possible connection between the bloody, disoriented man and the killings, called police twice to inform them of his suspicions. After the second telephone call police gathered evidence from the restroom. Police wore the same shoes and clothes from the Robin Hood Hills crime scene into the Bojangles restaurant bathroom. Police detective Bryn Ridge later stated he lost the blood scrapings taken from the walls and tiles of the bathroom. A hair identified as belonging to an African American was later recovered from a sheet which had been used to wrap one of the victims.  I still can't swallow this part of it. Unreal.
A fly-on-the-wall style documentary that combines court room recordings and interviews with people that are somehow involved in the case, makes one of the most exhilarating and engaging documentaries I've ever come across. The murders are horrible and initially we wish nothing but pain for the accused teenagers. However, during the legal process, we start to doubt the evidence - are they actually guilty? Without having seen the "sequel" or knowing what happens next, this film is simply top notch.