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Coming up this evening at 9, Piers Morgan sits down with Damien Echols for a candid and revealing primetime, face to face interview. A central figure in the infamous "West Memphis Three" case which polarized a community, and in some ways a nation, Echols was imprisoned for more than 18 years, before being released in August 2011.
"I really didn't even have an idea of how difficult it was going to be," Echols says of reintegration back into normal life. "For the first at least three months that I was out, I was in a state of extreme shock and trauma. I couldn't do anything by myself or for myself ... It was like a complete and absolute shock to the system."
Since Echols has rejoined society, he's gained 60 pounds. However, the man who turned 38 on Tuesday still suffers physical side effects from being confined to a cell for 23 hours, including extreme sensitivity to light, which has him wearing dark sunglasses at all times. Nerve damage and kidney ailments stemming from beatings while incarcerated continue to plague Echols, who was sentenced to life in prison, only to ultimately be released under the terms of the Alford plea.
While in prison in 1999, Echols married Lorri Davis, who joined her husband in studio to share her thoughts on his attempted return to normalcy thus far:
"It is amazing to have him out here with us," Davis reveals. "But it's true, no one could foresee how he was going to cope, and so it was difficult, and I did not understand how he was feeling and the anxiety and all of that that he was dealing with for at least six months. And after that, it's just been a process. But there is no precedent, you know, there is no place – no guide book or anything to now what to do."
Watch the clip, and listen to the interview, as Echols and Davis further elaborate on the the former's difficult transition following nearly two decades on death row.
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