Johnny Depp on 48 Hours Today Fighting 4 West Memphis 3, Will He Help the Dubose Brothers?

Johnny Depp will appear this evening on CBS-TV's 48 Hours, bringing attention to the West Memphis 3, fighting against the execution of Damion Echols. 

Please watch - it's a major event for Mr. Depp to bring his celebrity power to this Death Penalty case, especially when everyone would expect Johnny Depp to be on a standard publicity campaign for his new Disney movie, "Alice in Wonderland" by Tim Burton.  I'm sure that all opponents to the death penalty are excited that a major celebrity like Johnny Depp has become involved here -- and are respectful not only of his artistic abilities but his moral commitment, as well. 

The Dubose Brothers of Jacksonville - Similar Situation as the West Memphis 3

Meanwhile, here in Florida, the Dubose Brothers are in a similar situation as the West Memphis 3 with these three African-American brothers all facing the death penalty in the murder of an 8 year old in a drive-by shooting.  It is undisputed that the drive-by was intended for a drug dealer who had robbed the oldest brother.  It is also clear that these three brothers have suffered a lifetime of abuse and neglect. 

The State's zealous prosecutor is aggressively fighting for all three brothers to be put to death.  The penalty phases of their trials will continue through the next two weeks, and is being live-blogged in a joint effort of the Times-Union and Jacksonville.com. 

This case is being tried in Jacksonville, and my non-profit defense support organization, Florida Capital Resource Center, is providing whatever assistance we can to the defense attorneys in this case. (For details on how burdensome it is to represent indigent defendants in death penalty cases here in Florida, please read the assorted posts here on this topic, as well as my ongoing series of articles published at JD Supra and elsewhere.) 

E-mailed Johnny Depp's agent asking for help with the Dubose boys

Last week, Mr. Depp's agent also got an email written by Terry Lenamon, personally, not officially from the FCRC nor from the law firm, asking for his help in the Dubose Brothers case, if he could he see his way clear to do so.  

Sure, sure -- IT IS a lot to ask a celebrity who's already filming a movie (the Tourist) with Angelina Jolie, promoting a major film like Alice in Wonderland, and already taking a stand with the West Memphis 3, but Johnny Depp is known to march to a different drummer, and go his own way.  

Couldn't hurt to ask, you don't ask, you don't get ...and when you're a death-penalty criminal defense attorney, one thing you have to have a whole heck of a lotta HOPE.  Hope in justice, hope in mercy, hope in the compassion of men's souls ... because sometimes, setting in that chair in the courtroom, hanging onto HOPE is all you've got. 

Sincerest thanks to Mr. Depp for his efforts today.  We'll be watching CBS tonight, hope you will be, too.

 

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West Memphis 3 case evidence - February 28, 2010 4:54 PM

Evidence the West Memphis 3 were guilty
One of the 3 confessed. Echols and Baldwin both told others they committed the murders. Echols was seen near the crime scene with muddy clothes. Clothing fibers and a knife connected them to the crime.

West Memphis 3 confession, witness corroboration and physical evidence

MISSKELLEY, Jr. v. STATE of Arkansas CR 94-848
The appellant was asked about his involvement in a cult. He said he had been involved for about three months. The participants would typically meet in the woods. They engaged in orgies and, as an initiation rite, killing and eating dogs. He noted that at one cult meeting, he saw a picture that Echols had taken of the three boys. He stated that Echols had been watching the boys.

Damien Echols was observed near the crime scene at 9:30 p.m. on May 5. He was wearing black pants and a black shirt and his clothes were muddy. A witness testified that she had attended a satanic cult meeting with Echols and the appellant….a witness from the State Crime Lab testified that she found fibers on the victims’ clothing which were microscopically similar to items in the Baldwin and Echols residences.

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