i have waited a long time to write you this note.
just hours ago, our attorneys filed papers in federal court proving that three innocent men were wrongfully convicted of murder in west memphis, arkansas, in 1993. citing dna testing and evidence from several witnesses and leading experts, the nearly 200-page writ asks the court to order a new trial for my husband, damien echols, or release him.
in short, dna testing has been conducted on dozens of pieces of evidence. the dna results show no link whatsoever to damien echols, jessie misskelley or jason baldwin – and all of the experts agree that, under the prosecution theory of how the crime was committed, their dna would be present at the crime scene if they were guilty. instead, the dna results match terry hobbs, the step-father of one of the victims. our new filing also includes strong evidence from pam hobbs (the ex-wife of terry hobbs and the mother of one of the victims) implicating her former husband in the murders.
the writ includes scientific analysis from some of the nation’s leading forensics experts, stating that wounds on the victims’ bodies were caused by animals at the crime scene – not by knives used by the perpetrators, as the prosecution claimed. these wounds, and evidence about knives, were the centerpiece of the prosecution’s case.
beyond writing to share this exciting news, i want to thank you for your support. each person who spoke out about this case or donated money – each person who refused to let the world forget about three men locked away forever, one on death row, for a crime they so clearly did not commit – made this week’s filing possible. without you, we could not have made it this far, and we cannot thank you enough.
i am not an expert on science or the law. but i know that the writ that we just filed in federal court completely undercuts every argument and piece of “evidence” that was used to convict damien, jessie and jason. our lawyers and other legal experts say that any one piece of evidence in our filing, by itself, would be enough to overturn these convictions – and that, combined, all of the evidence makes it clear that this was a grave injustice that the federal court must step in and correct.
that won’t happen easily.
in the weeks ahead, the court will review the writ we just filed, and the arkansas attorney general will file a response. we will then reply to that filing, and the court will rule. we hope and believe that the court will rule to overturn these convictions, but we still have a lot of work to do to get there. i am also writing to ask for your help – which we need now more than ever.
you and i know that damien, jessie and jason would not have been convicted if they weren’t teenagers without more than a few dollars to their name, who were perceived to be “different” than other kids. they did not have the resources to fight a zealous prosecution in a poisonous atmosphere, and so they were convicted. the state still has millions of dollars at its disposal to defend these convictions. despite all of the evidence we have uncovered and filed in court this week, the state is going to fight us in federal court. no matter what, they will have more money than we do. but with your help, we can follow up on this unprecedented court filing and secure justice.
we only have a few weeks to gear up for the next phase. our experts, investigators and attorneys need to refute everything the state will throw at us, and we need to keep the court focused on the scientific truth in this case. please make checks payable to the damien echols defense fund, po box 1216, little rock, ar 72203.
you can also donate online, through paypal. it's easy, free and allows you to use your credit card. we also suggest that international supporters use this option. click this link to find out more. please use firstname.lastname@example.org as the "recipient" address. please include your name & address typed in your message! the button you can click to include your address does not always work.
i cannot overstate how important it is that you donate now. damien, jessie and jason were convicted more than 12 years ago based on nothing but fear, hysteria and innuendo. we now have the evidence we need to overturn these convictions based on cold, hard science – but we need your help today.
we are close to overturning these convictions – if we have the money it will take over the next few months to pursue this appeal. go here to read the writ we just filed in federal court, and you’ll see that we are at a critical juncture in this case, and that your help and support has gotten us here. please help us, and please know that your support has already gotten us farther than many people thought possible.
thanks very much,
and the damien echols legal team
[mehr: wm3.org | blog | case introduction by burk sauls | paradise lost & paradise lost revelations|live webcast of damien's legal defense team's press conference: november 1st, 4pm cet]
[rumour: arrest warrants were issued today. terry hobbs has been arressted. holy. fucking. shit. i so hope this is true.]