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West Memphis 3

Men CANNOT Sue Over Incarceration

8/19/2011 10:10 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

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The lead prosecutor in the West Memphis 3 case claims the deal he struck with Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin PREVENTS them from ever having a chance at winning a civil lawsuit against the state of Arkansas.

Scott Ellington explained at a news conference today that because all three men pled guilty, the State is insulated from any lawsuits the men might file ... seeking damages for being locked up for crimes they previously insisted they did not commit.

Damages in such a suit could easily rise into the tens of millions of dollars.

The deal doesn't prevent the WM3 from FILING a lawsuit -- however, the prosecutor believes any judge would simply throw such a case out before it went anywhere.

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