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Johnny Depp, Eddie Vedder Support West Memphis 3 with Benefit Concert

The West Memphis Three: from left, Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelley Jr. (CBS)

Johnny Depp, Eddie Vedder Support West Memphis 3 with Benefit Concert
Singer Eddie Vedder, left, and Actor Johnny Depp, right (AP Photo/Brian Chilson)

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (CBS/WREG) Actor Johnny Depp has fervently thrown his support behind the West Memphis 3, hosting a benefit concert in hopes of calling attention to the three young men he believes have been wrongfully convicted of heinous crimes.

Over the weekend, The "Pirates of the Caribbean" star along with Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam and Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks packed Little Rock's Robinson Center Music Hall with roughly 2,500 people, reports CBS affiliate WREG.

The date of the concert falls is just one month before Damien Echols, the one of the West Memphis 3 on death row, appeals for a new trial.

However, these celebs are not the only ones seeking justice for the trio.

Jessie Misskelley, Sr., whose son Jessie, Jr. is one of the accused, is very grateful to know that he is not alone in the fight for his son's freedom.

"It makes me feel good. I know people that didn't him like Johnny Depp. He don't know him from Adam and they all getting up there saying he's not guilty. Makes me feel good," Misskelley, Sr. told WREG.

Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, left, and Actor Johnny Depp, right (AP Photo/Brian Chilson)

The goal of the concert was raise awareness, as well as raise money to help pay legal fees for the men convicted as teenagers in the 1993 murders of three 8-year-old boys from West Memphis, Ark.

Jessie Misskelley, Jr., Jason Baldwin, and Damien Echols have been in prison for 17 years after they were convicted of murdering Steve Branch, Christopher Byers, and Michael Moore whose bodies were found bound and mutilated in a creek.

Misskelley and Baldwin are serving life sentences.

Each of them maintains their innocence and wants prosecution to consider new DNA and forensic evidence which will corroborate their story, says WREG.

"I don't believe this is just a random tragic thing. I have to hold on to the faith, the belief that this is for a reason and that something good will come out of this somehow," Echols said in an interview with 48 Hours | Mystery in February.

On Sept. 30, the Arkansas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Echols' appeal for a new trial.

More on the West Memphis 3 on Crimesider.

  • Caroline Black

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