'West Memphis 3' Freed After Plea Change

September 27, 2013 Updated Aug 19, 2011 at 2:28 PM EDT

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September 27, 2013 Updated Aug 19, 2011 at 2:28 PM EDT

(MSNBC.com) Three men convicted of killing three 8-year-old Cub Scouts were freed Friday after nearly two decades in prison and after an Arkansas judge OK'd a deal with prosecutors.

Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley -- known as the "West Memphis 3" agreed to change their pleas from not guilty to guilty in the 1993 killings in West Memphis, Ark.

They did so using a legal maneuver that lets them maintain their innocence while acknowledging prosecutors likely had enough evidence to convict them.

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