Via Kathy Bakken, below is a letter from the wife of Damien Echols, one of the West Memphis Three, a group of three men who were wrongfully accused and convicted of the murder of three boys in Arkansas fourteen years ago. This case means a lot to me, for reasons I haven't taken the time to write out yet, but I think if you take a few minutes to learn about it, then you might also feel compelled to lend your support.
Dear Friends & Supporters:
For more than a decade, thousands of you from all over the world have spoken out about the grave injustice in West Memphis, where three men – including my husband – were wrongfully convicted of murder. You have spoken out to raise money and awareness; you have brought widespread attention to this case and refused to let people forget that three men are in prison for a crime they did not commit; and you have made a difference, through creativity, passion and sheer force of will. The families of the West Memphis Three (Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin) can never thank you enough.
Today, I am writing to you because we urgently need your help. Whether you have supported and followed the case over the years, or you are just learning about this tragic injustice, we need you to step up today.
Over the last two years, compelling new evidence has been discovered by DNA tests, forensic pathologists and investigators. The lawyers are working to assemble what will be a dynamic appeal; one that will change forever the way this case has been perceived, and will prove – once and for all -- the innocence of the three convicted. The filing will include new evidence that is backed up with factual, hard science; a miraculous development in this error-ridden case.
Your support over the years has enabled us to achieve unbelievable progress. We’re now asking for your help to put all of this effort to work in the courts. We need the resources that will enable our experts, lawyers and investigators to work full time over the next couple of months, so the appeal can be filed as quickly as possible.
Time is running out, and we need your help. Please make checks payable to the Damien Echols Defense Fund, PO Box 1216, Little Rock, AR 72203. You can also donate online, through PayPal to: Ldavis11@hotmail.com.
If you have ever considered donating, the time is NOW. Cases like this take years and cost millions of dollars. We are in the final lap toward overturning these convictions and finally securing justice, but we simply cannot do it without the money it takes to bring all of the science and expertise and investigation into court so that the truth can finally come out.
I am not an expert on the law, science, the criminal justice system or the art of fundraising and organizing. What I know for sure is that these three men are innocent, and that we can prove it – if we have the money it will take in the next four weeks to file the appeal that’s been more than 10 years in the making. Please help us, and please know that your support has already gotten us farther than many people thought possible.
Thanks very much,
Lorri Davis and the Damien Echols Legal Team
Originally posted on pop.vox.com