Maines writes on the Dixie Chicks website: I'm writing this letter today because I believe that three men have spent the past 13 years in prison for crimes they didn't commit.
On May 5th, 1993 in West Memphis, Arkansas three 8 eight-year-old boys, Steve Branch, Christopher Byers, and Michael Moore were murdered.
Three teenage boys, Damien Echols, Jesse Misskelley, and Jason Baldwin were convicted of the murders in 1994. Jason Baldwin and Jesse Misskelley received life sentences without parole, and Damien Echols sits on death row.
I encourage everyone to see the HBO documentaries, Paradise Lost and Paradise Lost 2 for the whole history of the case.
I only discovered the films about 6 months ago, and ... I immediately got online to make sure that these three wrongly convicted boys had been set free since the films were released. My heart sank when I learned that the boys were now men and were still in prison. I couldn't believe it.
I searched for answers as to what had been done and what was being done to correct this injustice. I donated to the defense fund and received a letter from Damien Echols wife, Lorri. She is a lovely woman who has dedicated her time and heart to her husband. I was glad to hear that after so many years of fighting for justice it looked like things were finally happening. Below, I have written what the DNA and forensics evidence shows. I hope after reading it and looking at the WM3.org website, you will know that the wrong guys are sitting in jail right now, and feel compelled to help.