North Central College presents "The West Memphis Three" featuring a discussion of the Academy Award-nominated film "Paradise Lost 3" at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, in the Collegeís Heininger Auditorium at the Larrance Academic Center, 309 E. School St. (The film will be shown at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18, in the Collegeís Madden Theatre at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave.) Guest speakers are Jason Baldwin and Holly Ballard. Baldwin is one of three men known as the West Memphis Three, a group of teenagers who were wrongly accused of murder in 1994. After spending 18 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, new forensic evidence emerged that freed Baldwin. Since his release, he has earned an associate of arts degree and plans to continue on to law school, aspiring to promote positive change in the justice system. In 2012, Baldwin cofounded Proclaim Justice, a nonprofit organization dedicated to winning freedom for inmates who are factually innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted. Baldwin will use his personal experience to discuss the abolition of both the death penalty and juvenile life sentence without parole. Ballard is a nonprofit professional who works on a variety of justice causes. She was actively involved in the West Memphis Three case and regularly visited Baldwin during his imprisonment. Ballard is the executive producer for "Devilís Knot," a film that chronicles the trial of the West Memphis Three. It premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 8. Ballard now works in Seattle as the outreach coordinator for the Washington Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and serves on the board of directors for Proclaim Justice. Directed by critically acclaimed documentary filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, "Paradise Lost 3" is the third entry in a series that chronicles the arrest, imprisonment and release of the West Memphis Three. The film aired on HBO on Jan. 12, 2012, and was nominated for Best Picture at the 2012 Academy Awards. "The West Memphis Three" movie and speaker series is presented by Student Involvement and CUAB (College Union Activities Board).
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