Maines Campaigns For Release Of 'Wrongfully Convicted' Murderers
Outspoken Dixie Chicks star Natalie Maines is campaigning for the release of three men she claims were wrongfully convicted of murder as teenagers in 1994. Maines insists Damien Echols, Jesse Misskelley, and Jason Baldwin - better known as the West Memphis Three - are victims of a miscarriage of justice. Echols is on Death Row, awaiting execution, while Misskelley and Baldwin received life sentences without parole after they were found guilty of the May 1993 murder of three eight-year-olds in West Memphis, Arkansas. After watching documentaries Paradise Lost and Paradise Lost 2, about the killings, Maines looked into the case herself and is now convinced that DNA and forensics evidence fails to prove the trio's guilt. Writing on her website, Maines says: "I believe that three men have spent the past 13 years in prison for crimes they didn't commit... Justice has yet to be served." Maines reveals she has corresponded with the wife of one of the accused. She adds, "The evidence is so strong that, at the very least, the judge will grant a new trial, but hopefully he will overturn the verdict and these guys will finally be sent home to their lives and families. "I know that this is a hard thing to just take my word on, so please look at the case and the evidence for yourself. I am confident that you will see the DNA evidence is irrefutable and that these three men did not get the kind of trial that is promised to us - as Americans." Other celebrities who have spoken out in support of the West Memphis Three include Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Eddie Vedder and Jack Black.