Dixie Chicks singer Natalie Maines and Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder were in Arkansas in the weekend to support family and friends of the West Memphis Three, who were freed from prison after 18 years.
The pair have been vocal supporters of the West Memphis Three – Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelley Jr., three men charged with the murder of three 8-year-old boys in 1993 – for a number of years. A host of celebrities have been behind the release of the men, including Peter Jackson, Johnny Depp, Jack Black, Ben Harper and Patti Smith.
“Beautiful things went down in Arkansas today,” tweeted Maines. “Beautiful beautiful things… I’m sitting in a holding room at the courthouse about to see three men walk free!”
“Peter [Jackson] and Fran [Walsh] have funded seven years of investigation into trying to get these guys freed,” said Peter Jackson’s spokesman, Matt Dravitzki. "They saw [ a documentary called] Paradise Lost eight years ago and that put them into action.
“It simply comes from them being in a position that they’re able to [fund] that. It’s humanitarian entirely – it’s philanthropic.”