Deborah Feyerick and Stephanie Chen
Grady, Arkansas (CNN) - Some things about Damien Echols remain unchanged since he was sentenced to death in 1994 at the age of 19 after being convicted of murdering three 8-year-old boys.
At 35, his favorite holiday is still Halloween. To celebrate, friends say, he sends them hand-made jack-o'-lantern cards. He longs for contact with the outside world.
"I miss the things that most people take for granted, things people don't want, like rain," Echols told CNN in a face-to-face interview airing on tonight's "AC360°."
"To go out and touch it and get wet, or to feel snow. I loved snow my entire life, and I haven't had that in almost 20 years now."
From the Varner Unit of the Arkansas prison system, Echols maintains his innocence 16 years after he and two other teens were convicted of murdering three Cub Scouts - Michael Moore, Christopher Byers and Steven Branch. On May 6, 1993, police in the rural community of West Memphis, Arkansas, found their bodies bruised and mutilated, their arms and legs hogtied with their own shoelaces.
Echols, along with 16-year-old Jason Baldwin and 17-year-old Jessie Misskelley, were found guilty a year later. Echols received a death sentence, while Baldwin and Misskelley were sentenced to life in prison. The three teens became known as the West Memphis 3.
Echols is asking the Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday to grant him a new trial. His lawyers want to present DNA evidence not available at the time of the trial, as well as testimony that supports arguments that Echols and the two others did not commit the crime.
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