West Memphis Three: Natalie Maines, Eddie Vedder Arrive at Court (Report)
Dixie Chicks singer Natalie Maines and Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder are at Craighead County Courthouse in Arkansas to support the West Memphis Three, TMZ.com reports.
Teenagers Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin were convicted of murdering three 8-year-old boys in 1993 in a satanic ritual. They had been sentenced to death or life in prison.
But later evidence showed their DNA did not match that found on the scene of the crime. The DNA of one of the victim's stepfather, Terry Hobbs, and his friend was found, however.
A 1996 documentary called Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills and a 2000 follow-up Paradise Lost 2: Revelations led to celebrities like Maines, Vedder, Johnny Depp and Jack Black to speak out on behalf of the convicted boys and proclaim them innocent. (A third follow-up, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, is due to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival next month.)
Maines was later sued for defamation for insinuating Hobbs was guilty of the crimes on the Dixie Chicks' website and in rallies.
Hobbs claimed in his lawsuit that Maines' comments were "so extreme in degree as to be beyond the pale of decency and to be regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in civilized society."
The West Memphis Three were released from prison Friday.