The ACLU says that the
[r]elease of wrongly convicted #WestMemphis3 underscores need for death penalty repeal.If the death penalty was not an option, wouldn't the West Memphis Three still have been in prison until now? In all likelihood, the three would have been sentenced to life in prison. How does the death penalty change that?
What it does show is that our system, however imperfect, does work. Don't get me wrong--if they are truly innocent, they got screwed. But that doesn't have any impact on the death penalty. Using the situation for political gain to abolish the death penalty is a cheap political trick.