Sunday 19 August 2012

A birthday countdown in pictures (#19)

Richard, please forgive me if I use your birthday countdown to talk about a worthy cause...

It's exactly one year ago today that 3 men from Little Rock, Arkansas, were released from prison. They had spent 18 years in prison for a crime they did not commit and one of them had been sentenced to death. On 19 August 2011, these men agreed to take a so-called "Alford Plea" to be released from prison. The Alford Plea basically means that you plead guilty in court while you maintain your innocence.

Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Miskelley Jr. are free, but their names have not been cleared.

Peter Jackson, director of The Lord of The Rings trilogy and the upcoming The Hobbit films has been instrumental in getting these men, known as the West Memphis Three out of prison. He continues to support their case and today published a message about this case on his Facebook page.

The documentary West of Memphis, directed by Amy J. Berg and produced by Peter Jackson was shown at this year's Sundance Film Festival.

Damien Echols is an inspired writer. His story, Life After Death, will be released on 18 September 2012. See it on Amazon here. It's at the very top of my reading list.

Richard Armitage as John Porter in episode 3 of Chris Ryan's Strike Back 
Today, my thoughts go out to Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Miskelley Jr. I hope they are finally getting the chance to enjoy life, a life that was taken away from them by a failing judicial system.

My heart goes out to the families of Stevie Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore and I hope that they will someday know who is responsible for the death of their children.

"Lay beside me, tell me what they've done
Speak the words I want to hear, to make my demons run
The door is locked now, but it's open if you're true
If you can understand me, then I can understand the you"
(From The Unforgiven 2 by Metallica)
What's a birthday without a birthday present? But what do you get the man who's living his dream?
This year, consider donating to one of Richard's selected charities (Shelter, The Salvation Army, Childline and Barnardo's) - visit his
Just Giving page. Thank you!

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