Gov. Mike Beebe says he is not considering commuting or pardoning the three men convicted in the 1993 slaying of three 8-year-old boys in West Memphis, despite recent efforts to free the men.
Beebe, speaking to reporters after an event Tuesday, said that Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelley should go first to courts in seeking to either receive a new trial or win their freedom.
However, Beebe acknowledged that DNA evidence provides "a level of scientific certainty." When asked if he was considered commuting or pardoning the three, Beebe said "No. Absolutely not."
Supporters plan a state Capitol rally Wednesday for Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley.
"You know, one of the toughest challenges that I ever faced as a governor was carrying out the death penalty. I did it more than any other governor ever had to do it in my state. As I look on this stage, I'm pretty sure that I'm the only person on this stage that's ever had to actually do it. Let me tell you, it was the toughest decision I ever made as a human-being. I read every page of every document of every case that ever came before me, because it was the one decision that came to my desk that, once I made it, was irrevocable." --Mike Huckabee, Nov 29, 2007
Huckabee said he carried out the death penalty 16 times in his 10.5 year tenure, something his rival Mitt Romney has never had to do as governor of Massachusetts, which does not have capital punishment. Huckabee made the comments Monday at a news briefing in Los Angeles, where he planned a private fundraiser later in the day.
This is video of a recent police interview with Terry Hobbs, whose hair was found at the crime scene; the only physical evidence linking anyone to the murders. There are Six Parts to the video all of which can be found here.
Alternative rock band joins the fight to free the West Memphis Three
December 8th, 2007: San Francisco, Calif.— The Cure will be auctioning a customized Schecter RS-1000 acoustic guitar to raise money for the defense fund of three wrongfully-imprisoned Arkansas men. Damien Echols (who is on death row), Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley, Jr.—also known as the West Memphis Three (www.wm3.org) —were convicted for murdering three elementary school children in 1994.
This special guitar was not only designed to lead singer and guitarist Robert Smith’s specifications—maple body with spruce top, maple and rosewood neck and specially designed white pearl moon and star inlays—but it was also used in the studio by the musician this year.
The guitar is signed by all four-band members—Smith, Simon Gallup (bass), Jason Cooper (drums), and Porl Thompson (guitar); and features a Cure logo drawn by Thompson, who is responsible for the majority of the band’s artwork down the years. It also includes a “Free the West Memphis Three” message written by Smith.
The auction will last for 14 days—from December 11 (Echols’s birthday) to December 25—one day for each year the West Memphis Three have spent behind bars.
The starting bid for the instrument has been set at $999.
“It is my hope that through Skeleton Key Auctions, both funds and awareness will be raised about the travesty perpetrated on these three innocent men,” said Anje Vela, president of Music4Life. “Cases like the West Memphis Three’s are a blemish to our justice system. No innocent man or woman should be left to rot in prison without recourse, just because they lack the financial resources for a fair fight. Skeleton Key Auctions is grateful for bands such as The Cure who have generously donated to this cause.”