After interviewing Proclaim Justice’s John Hardin, Arkansas Times reporter David Koon writes about the formation and mission of the organization. Full article here.
Jason Baldwin, whose freedom from the 17-year prison term he served as one of the West Memphis Three was brought about by public scrutiny and press about the case, has joined with a Little Rock man to create “Proclaim Justice,” a nonprofit that will seek to shine new light on old cases where the defendant might have been wrongfully convicted.
Hardin, who’s serving as executive director for Proclaim Justice, is a former spokesman for the group Arkansas Take Action, which rallied support for the West Memphis Three. A former campaign manager for Arkansas Congressman Vic Snyder who has also worked in the private sector, Hardin and his family visited Baldwin in Seattle, where Baldwin now lives. Conversations they had during that visit about the importance of public relations in wrongful conviction cases led to the creation of Proclaim Justice.
“Most of the folks who find themselves in the situation that Jason and Damien [Echols] and Jessie [Misskelley Jr.] did, they’re indigent,” Hardin said. “They have nobody on their side. They don’t have Eddie Vedder, Johnny Depp, Natalie Maines, Peter Jackson. They don’t have those people. So just having that voice from people who understand what it is to organize messages and organize people and media campaigns can be the difference.”
The event Mr. Koon mentioned Jason and Mara Leveritt appearing at together in December was a Clinton School of Public Service Speaker Series event in which they discussed the importance of cameras in courtrooms.
Featured image photo credit: Bryan Chilson