As most of you know, I'm a staunch supporter of the West Memphis Three - three teenagers (at the time) who were convicted of murdering three young boys back in the mid '90s, in a trial I compare to a serious witch hunt. The trial was so shady it's hard to imagine these guys ever got convicted, much less for life (and death, for one). Jason, the one who wrote the letter below, has determinedly maintained his innocence the entire time, and was basically convicted because he was tried with another of the guys, the more 'controversial' one, Damian (I type that while laughing - what teenager isn't 'controversial'?). If there is a shred of evidence against any of them, none whatsoever points to Jason.
If you have a few minutes, I encourage you to write a letter. It's a few minutes of your time, but it might mean a lifetime of freedom for guys who have been behind bars for far too long as it is. Go to www.wm3.org for more details on the case.
From: Burk Sauls
Subject: [WM3] PLEASE READ this letter from Jason
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2006 15:07:53 -0700
For those of you who haven't seen this, here's a letter from Jason Baldwin. Jason sent it to Mara Leveritt who passed it along to us, and asked that we distribute it far and wide. I think it's a great way to get the governor to notice the letters, and maybe this idea will generate something aside from those "rubber-stamped form letters."
This is a good way for folks in Arkansas to speak up, too. If you live in Arkansas, you should definitely write a letter. We need to show the "power" that this case isn't going away.
- Burk Sauls
2:50 PM Pacific
Tuesday, April 18, 2006 CE
April 11, 2006
Dear Supporters of the WM3:
A friend and I were chatting this weekend when she brought up an important issue. With Awareness Day fast approaching, what is being planned for Arkansas? After all, this state needs to be everyone's focal point. She proposed a brilliant idea, which I want to pass on to you. I know many of you over the past decade or so have literally inundated the Governor's office with letters. How many letters have been sent? Well, it could be anyone's guess. I don't believe anyone is keeping a record, and of course, the Governor's office keeps an apparently endless supply of those rubber-stamped 'form' letters everyone receives in response.
So the idea is this: We all write another letter to the Governor of Arkansas - but wait! This time, instead of mailing these letters directly to his office, we address them to the post office box listed below, like this:
WRITE TO FREEDOM
Attn: Gov. Mike Huckabee
P.O. Box 7406
Little Rock, AR 72217
How does it sound so far? (By the way, I came up with the name of this little mission - 'WRITE TO FREEDOM.' It has a nice ring, doesn't it?) The letters need to be brief, polite and focused. Gov. Huckabee says he hasn't seen proof of our innocence. Is he satisfied with the 'proof' of our guilt? Tell him what fact of this case troubles you most. Stress how important it is for him to be well informed. And don't wait. There isn't much time. Please write that letter today!
All letters must be in by Friday, May 26. As they arrive, Arkansas volunteers will sort them as follows: Letters from Arkansans, Letters from Other Americans, and, last but not least, Letters from Humanity around the Globe.
As Awareness Day approaches, I expect this cache of letters to grow exponentially. In other words, I'm hoping we'll need lots of supporters here in Arkansas just to carry them to our great state's capitol. As the date for that event draws near, supporters here in Arkansas will post details for anyone - from anywhere - who wants to participate.
If all goes well, local and national media will also be on hand. That's why I want you to do this too: On the outside of your envelope, write a brief statement about what you told the governor and what you hope he does concerning the case of the West Memphis Three. That way, these statements can be made available to the media, without opening the Governor's mail.
I believe the Arkansas Constitution grants power to the Governor to help people who have been wrongly convicted. But for him to do that in this case, he needs to know the facts. Certainly, once he does, justice will not be ignored forever.
Thank you, everyone. Today is my birthday and I have but one wish. This is the last year of my twenties. I'll be happy indeed if Damien, Jessie and I can spend just one day of it as free men.