‘VOICES FOR JUSTICE’
7:30 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $25.
It’s inching close to two decades. For more than 17 years, Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelley have been imprisoned for a crime a growing number believe they didn’t commit. Soon, the so-called West Memphis 3 will face their best opportunity yet to prove they were wrongly convicted. To raise awareness, the WM3 advocacy nonprofit Arkansas Take Action has organized “Voices for Justice,” a star-studded rally to be held beginning at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28, at Robinson Center Music Hall.
On Sept. 30, the Arkansas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Damien Echols’ appeal for a new trial. According to the arguments filed with the court by national legal organizations, new DNA testing and forensic evidence — along with evidence that the original jury foreman engaged in blatant misconduct — prove that Echols, who currently sits on Arkansas’s death row, was wrongly convicted of murder.
“In late April, we learned oral arguments were going to be Sept. 30,” Echols’ wife, Lorri Davis, said earlier this week. “And of course that was real hard to take because that’s five months away. So I started thinking, ‘Why not use the time in a really positive way that would bring people together?’ For longtime supporters. To try to educate people. But most importantly, to send a message to the state of Arkansas: We’ve done our work, we’ve proved our case and [the Arkansas Supreme Court] needs to do the right thing and end this injustice.”
Davis, who’s also a co-founder of Arkansas Take Action, made the event national news when she got two of the cause’s fiercest — and most famous — champions on board: Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder and The Dixie Chick’s Natalie Maines.