The country star supports three men who she believes were wrongfully convicted of murder

By Karen Salkin
Updated December 03, 2007 02:40 PM
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Credit: Chris Wolf/FilmMagic

The always-outspoken Dixie Chicks frontwoman Natalie Maines has taken up a new cause – that of three men who she says were wrongfully convicted of murder.

Maines, who has previously taken on President Bush, begins a post on the Dixie Chicks Web site, “I’m writing this letter today because I believe that three men have spent the past 13 years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit.”

The men in question, Damien Echols, Jesse Misskelley, and Jason Baldwin (known as the West Memphis 3), were teenagers when convicted in 1994. The first is on Death Row, while the other two received life sentences without parole for the May 1993 murders of three 8-year-olds – Steve Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore – in West Memphis, Ark.

Six months ago, a chance viewing of the HBO documentaries Paradise Lost and Paradise Lost 2 inspired Maines to dig into the case herself. She believes that DNA and forensics evidence didn’t support the convictions.

On her site, she’s asking for donations to their new defense, as well as signatures on a petition to release the men, or at least, grant them a new trial.

At the same time, she points out the injustice to the victims and their families that their killer(s) are still loose, “and justice has yet to be served.”

According to Fox News’s Roger Friedman, Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Eddie Vedder, Jack Black and Henry Rollins are among the celebs who’ve already spoken out in support of the three men.