Tag Archive: Louisiana

Albert Woodfox Applies for Bail With Expedited Review

albert-carrieFrom A3 Newsletter

This afternoon Albert Woodfox’s legal team submitted an application to US District Court Judge James A. Brady for release on bail with expedited review (View the court filing here).

This month marks 2 years since Albert’s conviction was overturned for a third time based on a finding of racial discrimination in the selection of his grand jury foreperson, a decision now firmly upheld by a unanimous panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Though the Attorney General may continue to stand in the way of justice and appeal yet again to the US Supreme Court and/or attempt to retry him, Albert’s attorneys argue that there is no legal or moral justification to hold him in prison any longer, nor any reason to believe the State of Louisiana could succeed in reconvicting him in a fair proceeding.

In a moving petition, they detail not just the legal underpinnings of freeing those wrongfully convicted, but also the deeply flawed legal processes that have resulted in this innocent man spending an unconscionable 4 decades in a solitary cell. As they point out, “the State has now had not just one but two chances to convict Mr. Woodfox at a trial that passes constitutional muster, and failed.” (more…)

Albert Woodfox’s Overturned Conviction Upheld in Unanimous Decision

angola32From Angola 3 News

We are thrilled and honored to announce that just hours ago, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Judge Brady’s 2013 ruling overturning Albert’s conviction for a third time in a 3-0, unanimous decision (view a PDF of the official court ruling here).

Though the courts have finally ruled in the interest of justice, it may still be months or years before this innocent man is released from his solitary cell.

This is THE moment those of us whose lives have been touched by these men and this case over the years have been waiting for. This is the time when we must call upon the whole of our connections, creativity, and courage to call with one voice for the immediate, unequivocal release of Albert Woodfox from prison once and for all without delay.
Even with a unanimous decision in Albert’s favor, firmly planted in a mountain of innocence evidence, the State can still tie up his release in a number of appeals and even choose to re-indict and attempt to retry him.

Lest we lose Albert to delayed justice, as we did Herman, we must all come together to demand that this nightmare finally come to an end. (more…)

HOW DID VICTOR WHITE III DIE IN THE BACKSEAT OF A COP CAR?

victorwhiteFrom Vice

The night Victor White Sr.’s son died in the backseat of a cop car in New Iberia, Louisiana, he called the local sheriff’s station to figure out where his boy was.

“I asked them if he’d been apprehended, and they told me no,” he said to me. It wasn’t until the following morning, March 3, that Victor Sr. found out his son, Victor White III, had been arrested and died while in police custody. But he didn’t receive the news from the New Iberia Sheriff’s Department—he got the call from his son Leonard, who also lives in New Iberia and had been questioned that morning by police in connection with the death of his brother.

Immediately, of course, Victor Sr. made the two-hour drive from his home in Alexandria down to New Iberia to find out what the hell was going on. But the cops refused to tell him anything about the circumstances surrounding his 22-year-old son’s death, citing an ongoing investigation by the state police. At that point, Victor Sr. had no idea his son’s death was caused by a gunshot to the back while he was still in handcuffs in the backseat of a patrol car. Every official he talked to was cagey.

(more…)

Woodfox: Daily Death Row strip searches left him feeling ‘hopeless’

woodfoxFrom The Advocate

Albert Woodfox, serving life in prison for the 1972 murder of a security officer at Angola, told a federal judge Wednesday in Baton Rouge that multiple, daily strip searches and visual body cavity inspections leave him “helpless, hopeless.”

Woodfox, 66, is a maximum-security prisoner at the David Wade Correctional Center near Homer in Claiborne Parish. He is the last of the so-called Angola Three remaining in prison.

Woodfox seeks a court ruling that would end such searches as routine prison policy any time he is removed from his cell block for outdoor exercise, visits to the infirmary, visits from friends or family and discussions with his attorneys. (more…)

Remembering Herman Wallace, prisons, solitary confinement and freedom

herman-photo_a-harkness1by scott crowe / scottcrowe.org

In the 70’s a bullet was sent to kill Herman Wallace while in prison for his political activities as a Black Panther.  This was a special bullet. It wasn’t cased in metal with gun powder.  It was of a different kind. It was a bullet named solitary confinement. Like all bullets it came fast and unexpectedly. It came to silence. To stop. Its effects are the same as the other type of bullet. Silence and death. In these no one can talk.  No one can hear the rage, the resistance the love for better humanity. This bullet would stop that.

This bullet came from a gun shaped like the prison system. The prison gun with its shining cold steel, its levers and site aimed on punishment and retribution. Its intent–to silence. This gun in Louisiana was aimed directly at Herman Wallace, Albert Woodfox, Robert King, Zulu and any like them for resisting the their systems, their exploitations, their degradation and their other guns. This kind of gun is everywhere in prisons all over. Its coldness, its steel, its trigger is waiting to be pulled. To silence those who refuse.

The trigger of this gun was pulled by those who assume to hold Power. In this case the petty politicians, redundant bureaucracies and corrupt administrations all within the so called justice systems. If there was to be blood it had their fingerprints all over the gun. Remember prisons don’t kill people. People kill people. Those who held this gun have names. (more…)

Herman Wallace Dies After 41 Years In Solitary

Herman Wallace, April 2013.

Herman Wallace, April 2013.

‘Angola 3′ member Herman Wallace dies three days after being freed from 41 years of solitary

From the Huffington Post

NEW ORLEANS — NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A 71-year-old man who spent more than four decades in solitary confinement in Louisiana died Friday, less than a week after a judge freed him and granted him a new trial.

Herman Wallace’s attorneys said he died at a supporter’s home in New Orleans. Wallace had been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer and stopped receiving treatment. Wallace was held for years at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. In 2009, Wallace was moved from Angola to “closed-cell restriction” at Hunt Correctional in St. Gabriel, where he recently was taken to the prison’s hospital unit.

Jackie Sumell, a longtime supporter of Wallace, said he was surrounded by friends and family when he died. Wallace at one point told them, “I love you all,” according to Sumell. (more…)

Herman Wallace’s Conviction Overturned and Immediate Release Ordered!

herman-2-april-2013

Update, 10 pm: Angola 3 News reports that Herman Wallace is free from solitary and from prison:

Even after Judge Jackson’s late evening ruling denying the State’s attempt at a stay and again ordering his immediate release, the State continued to stall. Once notified of the continued delay, Judge Jackson stoically refused to leave his quarters until Herman was released, and just minutes ago, Herman was driven away from the prison a free man, awake and able to revel in this miraculous turn of events. The State will likely still appeal to the 5th Circuit and attempt to have the order reversed, and may even re-indict him, but it seems that Herman, against all odds, has won.

From Angola 3 News

–Read today’s court ruling here
For more background, view the new Solitary Watch article here.

Miraculous news this morning! Judge Brian A. Jackson, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, has overturned Herman’s conviction, granting him full habeas relief based on the systematic exclusion of women from the jury in violation of the 14th Amendment.

Even more astonishingly, the Judge clearly orders that “the State immediately release Mr. Wallace from custody.”  No application for bail is required, and the State is given 30 days to notify Herman if they plan to re-indict him. (more…)

Thanks To Haymarket Books and Jordan Flaherty For Copies Of Floodlines

floodlines2A big thank you and shout out to Haymarket Books and Jordan Flaherty for donating 64 copies of the excellent book Floodlines. Donations like this help us send books inside that are relevant and cutting edge. Our most requested book is the dictionary, but our second most requested type of book is African-American non-fiction.

FLOODLINES: Community and Resistance From Katrina to the Jena Six tells the story of community organizing in New Orleans in the years after Hurricane Katrina, and offers lessons for anyone involved in struggles around housing, education, health care, the prison industrial complex, and more. So having so many copies of this book will certainly be a great way for prisoners to form reading groups and talk about relevant recent history in the Gulf Coast.

We can’t wait to send these in.

Thanks Haymarket Books.

Thanks Jordan.