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    Johnny Depp Turns Defender of Convicted Murderers

    Captain Jack is out for justice.

    Johnny Depp has become the new face of a campaign seeking to overturn what many believe is the wrongful conviction of the so-called West Memphis Three—a trio of young men found guilty of the brutal 1994 murder of three boys in Arkansas.

    The Alice in Wonderland star will appear on CBS' 48 Hours Mystery. In a preview clip, he claims the outcome of the trial was not based on the facts and evidence (or lack thereof), instead focusing on the teens' obsession with heavy metal music, Stephen King and satanic rituals.

    "I firmly believe Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley are totally innocent. It was a need for swift justice to placate the community," Depp says. "Damien Echols is on death row to be killed by lethal injection."

    Depp joins such celebrity activists as Eddie Vedder, Henry Rollins, Dixie Chicks, Tom Waits, Margaret Cho, Winona Ryder, South Park's Trey Parker, Marilyn Manson and even Demi Lovato calling for the West Memphis Three's release.

    Echols is the only one awaiting execution. Both Baldwin and Misskelley were handed life sentences, but all three continue to maintain their innocence, claiming they were victims of a full-blown panic reminiscent of the Salem witch trials. They have filed motions seeking to reverse their convictions and obtain a new trial.

    Before their story attracted the attention of Tinseltown, it was successfully chronicled to devastating effect in the 1996 documentary Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills.

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    Get the latest on Depp's next Pirates adventure here.