I just got this from Lorri Davis. Its been such a long and painful journey with the WM3. I want to see them free so badly, as do so many many people. I know the economy is fucked up, things are weird and scary, but think about how much we have compared to these guys. They’ve been in prison all this time. Can you imagine? I want to do everything I can for them. Please read this and consider donating something. Every bit helps.
I hope this note finds you well. Damien and I have news for you, and a request for your assistance.
Because of your help, we have made amazing progress in this agonizingly slow process. In November 2007 we filed an appeal in Arkansas’s Federal District Court that proved the innocence of Damien, Jessie and Jason. The filing contained new evidence from a relentless investigation and legal strategy that was accomplished only because we had your support.
We were sent back to State court, which has added a year to our work, but here we are, ready to file in the Arkansas Supreme Court on March 11. The filing will include all of Damien’s actual innocence claims, most important:
DNA test results that fail to link Echols, Baldwin or Misskelley to the crime scene; in light of the prosecution claim that Echols sodomized the victims, the lack of his DNA at the crime scene is exculpatory itself. DNA test results showing that a hair found in the ligature of one of the victims matches Terry Hobbs, the step-father of another one of the victims.
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.
We have also just instituted a New Evidence Tip Line that we hope will result in even more new evidence and witnesses that can support the innocence of Damien, Jason and Jesse.
We have about 6 months to make a lot of noise. We need to get this story out in as many media outlets as possible, especially in the mainstream national media such as the New York Times, and other important publications. We need to reach out to our leaders in the legal community; from legal scholars to prominent legal organizations such as the ACLU, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Southern Law Center, etc. We must get the story out to former federal and state judges, and former prosecutors who, when they learn more about this case, can send an important message to the court that a terrible wrong has been done. We must also inform our political representatives, seek their help, if possible, or at least raise the profile of Damien’s case among important local, state and national politicians. In essence, we need everyone possible to know about this grave injustice, and to be led to act.
I need help with this, and can’t use the defense funds to bring on a professional. Lonnie Soury led the public campaign to free Marty Tankleff, a man who spent 17 years in a New York prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Lonnie worked obsessively at getting Marty’s story on shows like 48 Hours, into news outlets like the New York Times, and he made certain the story was known by every politician, lawyer, judge, reporter… He also was successful in garnering the support of scores of federal judges and US Attorneys and local prosecutors to sign an amicus brief asking the court to grant Marty Tankleff a new trial.
We need this kind of exposure, we need it desperately. It is the key to bringing pressure on the state of Arkansas to do the right thing, to exonerate Damien, Jason and Jessie.
I need about $25K to bring Lonnie on for the next year. I need your help to do it. We now have a 501c3 sponsor. Please make your tax deductible checks out to Arkansas Take Action, and mail to ATA, 125 Englewood Rd, Cammack Vlg, AR 72207, or donate online at Freewestmemphis3.org. A donation of $2500, $5000 would go a long way in getting started, and the window of opportunity is wide open.
We all know if it weren’t for your continued support, I wouldn’t be writing to you now, and we would’ve lost something unthinkable; the life of someone we care about deeply. We will be victorious, but we need help, and we need to act fast.