Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines has never been shy about expressing her opinions. There was, of course, the 2003 concert when she famously declared that she and her bandmates were ashamed that President George W. Bush was a Texan, which stirred intense feelings toward the band and led to the documentary “Shut Up & Sing.” Maines has also been outspoken about medical marijuana and the songwriting abilities of country star Toby Keith.

Toby Keith didn’t resort to litigation, but Maines did land in legal trouble for her public comments on the case of the West Memphis Three, a trio of teenagers who were charged and convicted for the murders of three 8-year-old boys in in the mid-1990s. Maines was moved by two HBO documentaries on the case — “Paradise Lost” and “ Paradise Lost 2” — and urged her fans to take an interest in the case because she believed the convicted teenagers, now men in prison, were innocent of the crimes. In a 2007 letter she posted on the Dixie Chicks’ Web site, she summarized evidence that Terry Hobbs — who was once married to the mother of one of the murdered boys — had committed the crimes. She made similar statements at a rally in support of the West Memphis Three.

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