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West Memphis Three Reporter/Author Will Speak at U of M Law School Sept. 23

For release: September 15, 2011
For press information, contact Chelsea Dubey, 901-678-4910

Mara Leveritt
Mara Leveritt
Mara Leveritt, an Arkansas journalist and author who has written extensively about the case of the West Memphis Three, will speak Friday, Sept. 23rd, at the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law in Downtown Memphis.  Her talk will begin at noon in the School’s Wade Auditorium.

Leveritt will discuss her take on the criminal justice system, the recent release of the West Memphis Three, and her book about that case, Devil’s Knot.  The book is her in-depth examination of the legal irregularities that followed the murder of three eight-year-old boys in West Memphis, Ark., in 1993.  Police arrested three local teenagers and charged them with the murder.  They were convicted in 1994, and one of them, Damien Echols, was sentenced to death. 

After almost two decades of debate about their guilt or innocence, and with much attention focused on the case by prominent individuals in Arkansas and across the country, including well-known Hollywood actors and filmmakers, an Arkansas judge in late August 2011 set all three men free because of serious doubts raised about the evidence used to convict them.  However, they were not exonerated of the charges.

Library Journal calls Devil’s Knot “an indictment of a culture and legal system” and gives it “highly recommended” status.  The Toronto Globe and Mail pronounced it “In the best tradition of crime journalism...”

Leveritt is the recipient of two Booker Worthen Prizes for her writing, and she has been named Arkansas Journalist of the Year and Arkansas Abolitionist of the Year (for her opposition to the death penalty).

More information about Leveritt’s presentation is available online at or from Steven Medlock at

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