August 19, 2011 18:46:39 GMT
The two strong supporters of Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin sat among the court audience when the men pleaded 'guilty'.
The world were hooked on the story of West Memphis Three being released from prison after 18 years, not excluding two celebrities who have been on the case's tail. Natalie Maines of Dixie Chicks and Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam were present during the court session at Craighead County Courthouse in Arkansas where Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin were eventually freed.
Believing that the men have been innocent all along, both Maines and Vedder had fought for their freedom in the past. In 1993, Echols, Misskelley and Baldwin were convicted of murdering three 8-year-old boys in a satanic ritual and were sentenced to death or life in prison. However, DNA found on the murder scene did not match theirs. Instead, DNA of Terry Hobbs, one of the victims' father, and his friend were found.
Maines reacted to the new evidence to the point she was sued by Hobbs for insinuating that he was guilty of the crimes inside her writings posted on Dixie Chicks' website. Meanwhile, Vedder joined the line of celebrities like Johnny Depp and Jack Black to speak on behalf of the convicted boys in a series of documentaries called "Paradise Lost".
Former singer of Black Flag, Henry Rollins, is also among the West Memphis 3 supporters. Following the men's release on Friday, August 19, he sent an e-mail to The Times, saying, "I am happy for the guys but so much has been lost. Three boys were killed. In my opinion, the wrong people were incarcerated and the person or persons who did it are still out there, alive or dead, still not brought to justice."
During the trial, Echols, Misskelley and Baldwin agreed to plead guilty in return of "Alford plea", in which they are allowed to claim they are innocent.