Peter Jackson disclosed Friday that he was working with one of the West Memphis 3 toward obtaining a full pardon. “We’re doing investigative work, we’re doing forensic work,” Jackson said, for “the purpose of getting a complete pardon” for Damien Echols. Jackson disclosed that Echols was in New Zealand at a press conference to announce that the first of the director’s two movies based on The Hobbit would have its world premiere in Wellington. Jackson received an exemption from New Zealand law to allow Echols to visit. Jackson and his partner Fran Walsh have been working for several years to help free Echols, who along with Jason Baldwin and Jesse Misskelley were released in August after serving 18 years in prison for the murders of three boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. Convicted of the murders, they continued to maintain their innocence but pleaded guilty to lesser charges to gain release from prison. Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, third of three documentaries about their plight, screened earlier this month at the New York Film Festival after it was recut to include their release. It is scheduled to debut on HBO in January.
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