We’ll declare this the Sunday open line. But a final note:

EXPERT OPINION: Author Mara Leveritt responds to a friendly article in todays Democrat-Gazette about the work of the state Crime Lab (headquarters pictured) in the West Memphis Three case, particularly Dr. Frank  Perettis conflicting testimony.

  • EXPERT OPINION: Author Mara Leveritt responds to a friendly article in today’s Democrat-Gazette about the work of the state Crime Lab (headquarters pictured) in the West Memphis Three case, particularly commenting on medical examiner Frank Peretti’s conflicting testimony.

* WEST MEMPHIS THREE AND THE ARKANSAS CRIME LAB: Did you read the sympathetic treatment of the Arkansas Crime Lab in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (pay wall) this morning? In it, C.S. Murphy (who has relied on this office for help on other previous topics) got employees’ first extensive comments on the West Memphis Three case since the release of the three men convicted in the slayings. I found little new there except for self-pity on the part of lab employees. The WM3 weren’t convicted on forensic evidence to begin with, but primarily on a contested confession and Satan hysteria. Indeed, the very lack of forensic evidence was critical to their ultimate release. I thought it interesting that the newspaper and the lab would declare the case “closed” and thus open to full record inspection and discussion. (Noted: the inspection of Crime Lab records produced nothing new that argued for the guilt of the three. If wounds weren’t caused by animals, but by human bites or knife wounds — to name one point of forensic contention — no one has yet believably linked those wounds to the men convicted.) Still, it was an indication, if totally unsurprising, that the apparatus of the state has no intention of going to look for other suspects now that the Three are free.

Never mind me. Mara Leveritt, author of “Devil’s Knot,” the definitive book on the case, is far more familiar with details and with the conflicting accounts from the Crime Lab have given in the past. She’s filed an analysis of the morning’s story from her deep knowledge. Give her the floor on the jump for an answer to the one-sided D-G report: