The Damien Echols Defense Fund

Discussion in 'West Memphis III' started by justthinkin, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. justthinkin

    justthinkin New Member

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    I wish someone could explain to me why this is the Damien Echols defense fund, and not the Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley defense fund.

    There's something about this that seems a bit hinky to me. For instance, if Damien were to die either by natural causes or injection, what happens to this money?

    It obviously isn't going to Baldwin or Misskelley because their names aren't on it.
    Does it go to Lori? Wouldn't that be something?
    Here's an interesting link:
    http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2008/jan/17/money-at-root-of-effort-to-free-3/
     
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  3. Sunnyone

    Sunnyone Former Member

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    Well from all indications it goes to Lorri Davis, and since she has consistently refused a public accounting of the fund even though it is considered a charity. IMO something is definitely fishy there.
    Add to that IMO that Lorri took two years off work, it makes me wonder how she supported herself if it wasn't the fund.
    I believe it was also last year that Dan Stidham (jessie's original attorney) and others voiced their concern about this very question. To the point that they developed a new fund to make sure it was equally divided.
     
  4. EntreNous

    EntreNous New Member

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    i guess the question would be, who founded it? if it was founded by an entity in an effort to raise funds for all three, i think there would be a real problem with LD having sole rights. however, if it were founded by someone, (for example- LD), raising funds solely for DE's defense, that is a different story. as with any fund raising organization, it is always wise to do your research and donate at your own discretion.
     
  5. SheBoss

    SheBoss New Member

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    Now, please keep in mind, I haven't researched this AT ALL, but my first thought would be - why? Since Baldwyn and MissKelley both got life, their 2 appeals should be up by now. The only person that can legally still file appeals, thus needing a "defense fund" would be the one that's on death row - Echols. He should be the only one of the 3 that gets unlimited appeals.

    Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. :)
     
  6. Sunnyone

    Sunnyone Former Member

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    Sorry but that's incorrect. Baldwin and Misskelley still have appeals left, in fact IMO they are much farther behind in their appeals due to the "defense fund" and the lack of funds they seemed to get in the past. (this is IMO according to the fund and stories printed in the newspaper when Dan Stidham and Mara Leveritt actually set up a different defense fund).

    Echols does not get unlimited appeals either, he is very close to the end of his. If the ASSC does not send the appeal back to circuit court on the 31st (this is when the hearing is, not necessarily when the opinion will come down) then the only thing Damien has left is Federal. Now IMO from all I've read on the chances of anything happening on the Federal level is almost nil. Since this appeal to the ASSC is dealing with only one item (although the defense has thrown other points in) that item being the DNA. IMO since the DNA evidence is not proof of actual innocence, and does not point conclusively to another perpetrator of the crime it comes down to how the ASSC defines the DNA statute. The states attorney has already come forth to say that if this appeal is granted, then the ASSC is basically taking powers away from the Governor. It will set a major precedent in future cases, so IMO I don't see that happening.
     
  7. UdbCrzy2

    UdbCrzy2 New Member

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    I agree there is something 'hinky' going on here with the donor's funds.

    From your link:

    Isn't it a clear conflict of interest for a spouse of one of the WM3 to have what appears to be ultimate control over funding that is intended for all three young men?'' asks the new Web site that seeks donations of its own on behalf of the three defendants.

    West Memphis 3 Innocence Project president Kelly Duda said he likes Davis and applauds her efforts but said she's given no public accounting of her fund-raising efforts. Among concerns, Duda said when he and associates contributed money, they didn't receive receipts.


    And then this:

    People have been asking these questions for a long time. The house of cards is crumbling,'' Duda, a Little Rock filmmaker, said Wednesday. Donors have a right to know where their money is going and how it's being spent. That's not happening.
     
  8. Compassionate Reader

    Compassionate Reader New Member

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    Please note that the article to which you refer was written almost four years ago. The dispute was solved fairly quickly it seems, and the splinter group seems to be defunct. Its website ( http://wm3ip.blogspot.com/ ) apparently hasn't posted anything since February, 2008, when the article announcing the reconciliation of the lawyers with the newly-formed group. (Damien and Lori soon reconciled with the group, too.) All this shows is that emotions were running very high after the DNA disclosures. I noticed that you failed to quote this from the original article:

    "They are all happy with the way the money is being spent,'' Davis said. Indeed, Echols' San Francisco lawyer, Dennis Riordan, said he had no misgivings about Davis' fund-raising."

    and:

    "It's all accounted for,'' Riordon said. Suggestions to the contrary by the new organization are 'absolutely false,' he said."

    Of course, now that the three are free, bringing this up again is really moot, don't you think?
     
  9. UdbCrzy2

    UdbCrzy2 New Member

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    The article I am quoting and left a link to is from a reliable media source and it is quoted from there.

    It looks like your link is to someone's blog.

    I don't think Misskelley was all that happy about the way things were done and I'll bet that Baldwin got raked over the coals too.
     
  10. Compassionate Reader

    Compassionate Reader New Member

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    My point is that the article is four years old, and a lot has changed since then. The link I provided was to the supposed website for the group challenging the distribution of funds. As I said, since the dispute was settled several years ago, their organization now appears to be defunct.

    The Baldwin and Misskelley lawyers are the "lawyers" referred to in the article in the link I provided. The actual article was in the West Memphis Times, which is a newspaper just as reliable as The Commercial Appeal in your link. It appears that the Times has ceased publication so I cannot link to the actual paper. My link (referencing the paper) is, therefore, the best available.
     
  11. iluvmua

    iluvmua Active Member

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    What is up with the new "West Memphis 3 Freedom Fund"????? Seriously, if I was a supporter I'd be suspicious. (and they have a right to be).
     
  12. Compassionate Reader

    Compassionate Reader New Member

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    It is my understanding that this fund, to be distributed to all three according to need, has been established to help cover their living expenses, etc. until they can get back on their feet. They were released from prison with the clothes on their backs.

    The State is setting them up to fail by not providing any sort of help in adjusting to the "outside" world. The fund was established to provide such help. Peter Jackson has also graciously provided help on his own. I am a supporter, and I understand this fund completely. Without help, they could easily be tempted to get into trouble.

    I guess that's really what the State wants. At least that's the way it seems to me. That way the State could say, "See? We told you that they're no good!" Supporters don't want that to happen so we are continuing to support them until they can stand on their own.
     
  13. Dysthymia

    Dysthymia New Member

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    (snipped from entire post)

    Only Misskelley lives in the state where the murders were committed and, it seems to me, that he is hardly being harrassed by the state of Arkansas. The only times the state has done anything involving him since his release was
    (1) amended his Alford Plea so that he could be with the other two in NYC for PL3 showing (this was done as a favor for him because felons are not allowed to associate with other felons--Echols and Baldwin's Alford Pleas were also special in that they were allowed associate with one another.
    (2) Misskelley was asked to leave a home where he had been living because a minor child, that was not his, was living there. I would guess that the parent of that child, or a relative, complained about his presence there? He was told he had to move. It was all very odd because that GQ story stated he lived with some older woman friend(?) and I thought that he and his girlfriend/fiancee Susie lived together in a home?

    I think any problems Misskelley has are of his own making.
     
  14. Compassionate Reader

    Compassionate Reader New Member

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    It is my understanding that Jessie and Susie were living with a male friend of Jessie's. IIRC, Stephanie Dollar (who is an older female friend of Jessie's) had offered, but it was decided that it wouldn't look right. So, they moved in with this male friend (whose name I do not know). Whatever happened that caused State officials to insist on Jessie's move, it is just proof of what I am saying. Jessie is being persecuted, and I'm not entirely sure that the State isn't behind it. Yes, he is the only one remaining in Arkansas. Personally, I wish he would move. However, he wants to remain near his father, and he should be able to do so without fear of harassment by the State or anyone.
     
  15. WhiteLilly

    WhiteLilly New Member

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    Oh please! Peter Jackson just paid Jessie's rent for one year.

    The same Peter Jackson flew Lorrie and Damien to NZ for a holiday where they produced a movie, or a documentary.

    Johnny Depp took Damien to Disneyland and they got matching tattoos!

    I hardly think ANY of them are struggling. The freedom fund is IMO IMO nothing but a rort.
     
  16. Compassionate Reader

    Compassionate Reader New Member

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    I have no idea what a "rort" is, but I believe that allowing supporters to continue to offer financial assistance to the freed men is totally alright. No one is being forced to contribute. I don't think that Peter Jackson should be expected to foot the entire bill (although he might be willing to do so). Mainly, I believe all this harping about the Freedom Fund is a tempest in a teapot since no one is being forced to contribute to it.
     
  17. Mrs G Norris

    Mrs G Norris #JeSuisUrsa

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    :bump:

    Noticed this yesterday and found it interesting, since the fund was supposed to assist with legal costs etc ..

    Please note that Damien is not a tattoo artist nor does he claim to be one.
    We offer this service as a way to help Damien pay off any legal fees that might have added up over his 18 years wrongfully placed on death row.
    All tattoos are assisted by a licensed NYC tattoo artist. Damien is trained in Blood borne Pathogens.


    http://www.sacredtattoo.com/artists/damien-echols

    Does anyone know what is happening with the Damien Echols Defence Fund?
     
  18. Schuby

    Schuby Under the thumb of The Man

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    I don't know anything about their finances but it is worth noting that you can't buy groceries, pay rent or keep your lights on with trips to Disneyland or tattoos.
     
  19. Compassionate Reader

    Compassionate Reader New Member

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    The tattooing is being done, as is stated, to help defray the costs of Damien's lengthy appeals, including DNA testing, etc. Although most of the attorneys were working pro bono, some of the experts had to be recompensated for their time. Although Sir Peter Jackson was very generous in paying for the DNA testing, that cost was enormous. I don't think it's wrong for Damien to find a way to make money to help pay for (or pay back, even) his legal defense and the testing, etc. required. Wrt the Damien Echols Defence Fund, it is my understanding that it is now the Freedom Fund and is used equally by all three of the falsely convicted men. If you note, earlier in this very thread I posted information about how the dispute was resolved - years ago!
     
  20. Mrs G Norris

    Mrs G Norris #JeSuisUrsa

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    Yes, I know this thread is old, I went through some links after finding that about the tattooing yesterday, I think claims of how much money had been raised by the fund have been exaggerated, I bumped this thread out of curiosity really to see if there was any more up to date information about it out there.
     

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