Depp defends West Memphis Three

Feb. 23, 2010 at 5:06 PM
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NEW YORK, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Hollywood actor Johnny Depp is to appear on TV's "48 Hours Mystery" to protest the controversial murder convictions of the West Memphis Three.

The New York Post said the usually media-shy Depp is lobbying for authorities to reopen the cases of Jason Baldwin, Jessie Misskelley and Damien Echols, who were convicted of beating to death three 8-year-old boys in a suspected satanic ritual in 1994 in Arkansas. Baldwin and Misskelley were sentenced to life in prison and Echols to death. All were teens when they were tried and convicted.

The Post reported Depp will say on Sunday's edition of the CBS program the men, who were fans of heavy-metal music, horror novels and the occult, didn't get fair trials.

"I firmly believe Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley are totally innocent. It was a need for swift justice to placate the community. Damien Echols is on death row to be killed by lethal injection," Depp reportedly said in a taping of the program, which CBS said will feature new DNA and forensic evidence that could possibly clear the trio.

Other celebrity supporters of the West Memphis Three include Eddie Vedder, Metallica, Winona Ryder and the Dixie Chicks, the Post said.

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