Last year, Johnny Depp played John Dillinger, a one-time inmate who escaped from prison in "Public Enemies." Now he's trying to help others find freedom. The actor is raising awareness of an attempt to secure a new trial for three inmates, who he feels have been wrongly convicted. Depp will be appearing on "48 Hours Mystery" this Saturday to make his case.
Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley were convicted of the gruesome May 1993 killing of three West Memphis, Arkansas, children. The convicted trio was dubbed the "West Memphis 3." Citing a mishandled crime scene, a botched investigation, and the media scrutiny surrounding the case, many - including Eddie Vedder and Depp's former girlfriend Winona Ryder - believe the three accused were wrongly convicted. Even Rick Murray, the father of one of the victims, Christopher Byers, has expressed doubts about the guilt of the "West Memphis 3."
On the show, Depp says, "I firmly believe Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley are totally innocent. It was a need for swift justice to placate the community." Depp continues, "Damien Echols is on death row to be killed by lethal injection." At the time of their arrests, all three men were 18 years old or younger, and Echols has now spent more than 15 years on death row.