Wednesday, January 23, 2008

OPEN LETTER TO SUPPORTERS OF THE WEST MEMPHIS THREE

OPEN LETTER TO SUPPORTERS OF THE
WEST MEMPHIS THREE

As the lawyers who represent Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jesse
Misskelley in their respective state and federal court challenges to
their 1994
murder convictions, we feel it necessary to reply to questions that have
been
publicly raised recently about whether conflicts have arisen between the
three
defense teams.

Each of us is ethically obligated to vigorously promote the legal
interests of
our individual clients. Nonetheless, despite the fact that the cases of
our clients are
in different procedural postures, we have worked cooperatively whenever
legally
possible because the ultimate interests of Jason, Jesse, and Damien are
the same.
All three are accused of jointly committing crimes of which all three
are innocent.
Evidence that exculpates one therefore exculpates all.

That is plainly true of the critically important DNA testing that has
been
conducted on behalf of our clients in recent years. Our clients obtained
the court
order authorizing that testing only by pledging to underwrite its cost
which, given
its extensive scope, has run into more than a hundred thousand dollars.
The
defense has had to pay those fees thus far because the State of Arkansas
has no
mechanism to fund such testing, which all parties in this case agreed
had to be
conducted by an out of state accredited laboratory. Only the generous
donations of
supporters enabled the defense teams, and the State, to conduct that
testing, which
is on going.

Counsel for all of our clients have participated in obtaining judicial
determinations as to which evidentiary items would be subjected to
testing. All
have benefitted from the discovery that while DNA evidence of potential
suspects
has been recovered from the crime scene, none of that DNA came from
Baldwin,
Misskelley and Echols. All of us have assisted in the development of the
recent
findings by the nationÕs leading forensic pathologists that the victims
suffered pastmortem
animal predation. Those findings have devastated the stateÕs theory that
the victims suffered ritualistic satanic injuries, a theory that the
state employed at
the trials of all three defendants.

We have the greatest thanks for all who in the past have financially
assisted the legal efforts to free Jesse, Jason, and Damien. Much work
remains to
be done. We have complete confidence that Lorri Davis and others who
have
organized past fund raising efforts have done so with integrity and with
the aim of
seeing justice done, and we can assure supporters that arrangements are
being
made to ensure that future contributions will be used to meet the needs
of all our
clients as they prepare for further legal proceedings in state court.

Dennis P. Riordan
Donald M. Hogan
Counsel for Damien Echols

John Phillipsborn
Blake Hendrix
Counsel for Jason Baldwin

Michael Burt
Jeff Rosenzweig
Counsel for Jessie Misskelley

1 comment:

ChattyCathy said...

I am a supporter of the 6 victims of this heinous crime and I want Justice for each single victim,as there were clearly 6 victims and someone responsible has remained a coward all these yrs later,I honestly cannot afford a dollar at this time,believe me but after Christmas I will be buying some of the tshirts and cd's as well as donating every cent I possibly can and since the day (2-3 months ago) Since i heard the story I have and will continue to pass the word as Justice has been too long coming in this case and theres no way in my opinion any of these boys had any part whatsoever in it except what the WMPD Painted on them! If I had the choice to meet anyone in the world it would be the 3 boys who in the face of such cruel diversity still have such strong concern for others though it cost them everything in life,as well as their lives & their families too? You would think they would hate the world for what happened to them them and I don't know if I could do that!!
Now thats a HERO!! I cannot wait to see the 3 vindicated and for true justice to be served!
GOD BLESS YOU DAMIEN,JASON & JESSIE!
Lori too bor being herself!!
Cathy Elkins,TN