The Mara Leveritt Blog

Mara has written extensively on criminal justice in Arkansas and America. Mara writes regularly about “cryptolaw,” a word she coined to explain how plain language is often distorted by members of the legal system to the detriment of public trust.

Chosen by the Southeast Region of the American Board of Trial Advocates in 2012, Mara was named Journalist of the Year, “in recognition of her years of unbiased reporting of the facts and legal arguments in many high-profile court proceedings and her persistent efforts to explain to the public the reasoning underlying sometimes controversial court decisions.”

Major topics on the Mara Leveritt Blog include the West Memphis Three case, the Tim Howard case, Abuse of Power by members of the legal system, the Death Penalty, the War on Drugs and much more. Use the list in the right hand column to explore them all.

Challenging times for police and a prosecutor

On June 22, a 12-year-old West Memphis boy, DeAuntae Farrow, was shot and killed by a city police officer. Assistant Police Chief Mike Allen said the child was holding a toy gun and made “furtive motions” towards the officer, at which point, the officer shot. Relatives of DeAuntae Farrow have said the boy did not […]

“Three Little Boys”

Here are the remarks made by filmmaker Kelly Duda at the Crittenden County Courthouse for World Awareness Day for the West Memphis Three June 2, 2007 Fourteen years ago three little boys were murdered. Dragged out of a drainage ditch in West Memphis, Arkansas were the bodies of eight year-old Steven Branch, Christopher Byers, and […]

Supporters from 14 states observe WAD at the Crittenden County Courthouse

Sixty-five people stood hand-in-hand on Saturday in front of the Crittenden County Courthouse in a show of unity with the West Memphis Three. The event in Marion, Arkansas, a few miles north of West Memphis, was one of several organized for World Awareness Day. It was a beautiful, Arkansas afternoon. Big trees shaded the courthouse […]

John Lennon’s piano plays against violence at the Crittenden County Courthouse

What a modest, incongruous sight. A plain upright piano—a Steinway—standing in the grass, a few dozen yards from a courthouse. Inside the courthouse, people were curious. “It’s a piano that John Lennon used to own,” I said. “He used it when he composed ‘Imagine.’” Some asked, “What’s it doing here?” “Well, there’s this project, to […]

Letter from Pamela Hobbs, mother of victim Steve Branch

My son Steve Branch was almost a pefect little boy. Everyone that knew him loved him because he had a loving character.He was a leader more than a follower. What happened on the most horrible day of my life was almost more than I could bear until I came to terms with the lost of […]

WM3 defense teams meet with state; lay scientific ‘cards on the table’

Defense attorneys for Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, Jr., the men known as the West Memphis Three, brought four forensic pathologists and two forensic odontologists with them to a meeting at the Arkansas Crime Lab on Thursday, May 17, according to a source who attended the day-long meeting. “Our approach has been to […]

The gang at ‘ground zero’

The crime. The trials. All that went wrong–and the responsibility for getting errors corrected. It all comes down to Arkansas. The three children who were murdered were Arkansans. So were their families, their neighbors, and the jurors who sat in judgment of the WM3. The three teenagers were convicted in Arkansas courts. Now men, they […]

Come! Stand with us! Demand justice at the Crittenden County Courthouse

Arkansas supporters of the West Memphis Three will observe World Awareness Day by “Standing for Justice” at the Crittenden County Courthouse in Marion from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 2, 2007. Supporters from everywhere in the world are invited. Arkansas supporters are especially urged to come, to refute statements by officials that there […]

WAD goes to Crittenden County Courthouse Join us in standing on behalf of the WM3

In a public display of solidarity, Arkansas supporters of the West Memphis Three will hold a peaceful assembly Saturday, June 2nd, 2007 on the grounds of the Crittenden County Courthouse in Marion, Arkansas from 1pm – 3pm. During the two-hour event, there will be three 14-minute segments of silence, one each for Damien, Jason and […]

Arkansas university students demand ‘Steps toward Justice’

Supporters of the West Memphis Three will assemble at the Arkansas State Capitol on Friday, April 20, in a rally organized by student activists at the University of Central Arkansas. The two-hour event, called Steps Toward Justice, will begin at noon. Organizers scheduled the rally as a way to give students, whose semester ends in […]