Echols releases statement on FedEx withdrawing from conference

    4:45 PM, Feb 7, 2013   |    comments
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    MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Shipping giant FedEx has pulled out of a business conference after former Arkansas death row inmate Damien Echols was asked to speak.

    FedEx was a co-sponsor of Everywhereelse.co: The Startup Conference, which is scheduled for Sunday through Tuesday at the Cook Convention Center.

    Echols released a statement following the company's withdrawal:

    "I am blessed to have the support of hundreds of thousands of people from around the globe, from New Zealand to Norway, many whom worked tirelessly to free me, Jason and Jesse. After close to 20 years imprisoned on death row, I have endured greater hardships than FEDEX making a rash decision without knowing very much about my case. It is more a measure FEDEX's lack of corporate integrity and decency than it is about my struggle to clear my name. "

    FedEx withdrew sponsorship this week after conference organizers announced Echols would take part in a talk Monday about how the world has changed since he was sent to prison. Echols is one of three men who were convicted in the killing of three Cub Scouts in a West Memphis, Ark., woods in 1993.

    FedEx spokesperson Shea Leordeanu told The Commercial Appeal the subject of Echols' talk didn't match the company's understanding of what the conference was about.

    (Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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