Johnny Depp Defends Convicted Murderers on ’48 Hours’

by | February 23, 2010 at 12:34 PM | TV News

Johnny Depp (Charley Gallay/Getty Images)

Johnny Depp (Charley Gallay/Getty Images)

Johnny Depp has worn many hats — a drunken journalist in ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,’ a swashbuckling scalawag in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ and a mad hatter in ‘Alice in Wonderland’ — but his latest role might give some fans pause.

Sunday’s ‘48 Hours Mystery‘ features Depp voicing support for a gang of boys convicted of murder known as the West Memphis Three.

New DNA evidence has reportedly been discovered in the case, described in the episode as “very much like the Salem Witch Trials,” and Depp is among many who believe the West Memphis Three were wrongly convicted for killing three eight-year-old Arkansas boys in a gruesome Satanic ritual in 1994.

“I firmly believe Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley are totally innocent,” Depp says on ’48 Hours.’ “It was a need for swift justice to placate the frightened community.”

Johnny Depp Defends the West Memphis Three:


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Convicted as teens, the West Memphis Three have spent 16 years in prison; Echols is on death row scheduled to be killed by lethal injection, while Baldwin and Misskelley are serving life sentences.

Depp isn’t the only celebrity to come out in support of the West Memphis Three — FoxNews.com lists Eddie Vedder, Metallica, Winona Ryder and the Dixie Chicks among high-profile advocates.

If Depp as a legal analyst isn’t your cup of tea, he’ll also be appearing Thursday on CBS’ ‘The Early Show‘ to promote his new Disney movie ‘Alice,’ directed by Tim Burton.