A Cry for Innocence

Damien Echols, 35, has spent his entire adult life on Arkansas’ death row. Every day, he faces the possibility of execution. But there is a bright spot in his life.

Lorri (his wife) is familiar with every facet of Damien’s case and works day and night with the legal team, fighting not only for Damien on death row, but for Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, the other convicted men who are serving life sentences.

“We have gone through every aspect of this case and there was never been anything that pointed to their guilt,” she explains.

They are known as the West Memphis Three, and they are now actively supported by people who could really make a difference, like Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam and actor Johnny Depp.
Despite all that, the Arkansas courts have upheld all three convictions for more than 16 years. Prosecutors maintain that Damien, Jason and Jessie are responsible for the cold-blooded murder of three 8-year-old boys.
However, on August 19, 2011, Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley were released from prison as part of an Alford plea deal, a rare legal mechanism in which “no contest” pleas are entered but innocence is nevertheless maintained.

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