Free the West Memphis 3
Here at Dread Central we’re not afraid to take a stand for the things that we believe in. We’re proud to be part of horror culture as we know it today, and we’re even more proud when someone in the field tries to make a difference. Case in point …
From the Press Release
Indie horror novelist Drew Stepek will be auctioning an autographed copy of his gold medal winning novel “Knuckle Supper” (review here) to raise money for the defense fund of Damien Echols (who is on death row), Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley, Jr.— also known as the West Memphis Three — who were convicted for murdering three elementary school children in 1994. Since the horrific crimes, DNA from the crime scene and victims was tested by Bode, the country’s most trusted crime lab, and none of it matches these three unjustly imprisoned men. For three weeks starting December 5th, Judge David Laser will be holding an evidentiary hearing for the three men to review all post conviction evidence.
The auction will last for 18 days—from June 17th to July 5th —one day for each year the West Memphis Three have spent behind bars. June 3, 2011 has marked the 18th year anniversary that Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley, Jr. have been behind bars for a crime they did not commit.
“It’s important for everyone to remember when they go home to their lives every day after work, after school or after spending a day with their families that the WM3 have been cheated of these simple things.” Stepek wants everyone to stop and consider their lives, “Think about that for a second. This wasn’t a choice. These things are missing from their lives,” says Drew Stepek. “Imagine missing out on college. Imagine not entering the workforce. Think about not being able to get married in front of your family. These things that all of us take for granted (I’m no exception) have been FOREVER stripped from these three individuals. These are the simplest, yet most important, times of all of our lives.”
“Whether you believe in heaven and redemption or not… on this earth, in this life, the WM3 will NEVER get the opportunity to SMILE on a sunny day in their 20s. EVER. I think it’s important for everyone to reflect on the word smile. Imagine not finding it in yourself to SMILE from when you were 18 until you were in your mid-30s.”
“If I had been on trial for drawing pictures of demons and pentagrams when I was a teen, I would have already been handed the death sentence. Drawing pictures. That’s what this is about… a social worker’s interpretation of these pictures. Can you imagine if some dopey picture you drew on your high school notebook came back to haunt you?”
Stepek asks us all, “Please support the West Memphis Three. There is no denying that this is the biggest crime (in my opinion) our justice system has ever committed. With your help, Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelley may get a gift bigger than simple redemption. They will get to smile. The simplicity of it all escapes me.”
The starting bid for Knuckle Supper has been set at $25.00.
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