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article imageAmnesty International calls for Albert Woodfox to be freed

By Layne Weiss     Oct 11, 2013 in World
Angola - Amnesty International has launched a campaign for the release of 'Angola 3' inmate Albert Woodfox, who has been in solitary confinement for decades in a Louisiana prison.
Woodfox and Herman Wallace, who died last Friday, just days after being released from prison, were convicted in 1972 of murdering prison guard Brent Miller. Woodfox, Wallace, and Robert Hillary King became known as the "Angola 3" for spending most of their lives locked up in Angola prison. Each men spent decades in solitary confinement with King serving the last amount of time at 29 years.
Herman Wallace had been serving a 50-year sentence, but was released after 41 years after his conviction was overturned because he had not received a fair trial. He was also dying of liver cancer.
According to reports, just two days after being released, Herman Wallace, who was on his deathbed, surrounded by friends and family, was re-indicted in the 1972 murder of Brent Miller. He died a day later.
This leaves Albert Woodfox the last member of the "Angola 3" to remain in prison. Woodfox and Wallace always maintained their innocence and said they were falsely accused of murder because of their political activism as members of the Black Panther party in prison, Amnesty International reports.
In 2008, Woodfox's murder conviction was overturned, but he remained in solitary. His conviction was overturned yet again earlier this year, but he remains in prison because the state of Louisiana petitioned against his release, according to Amnesty International. Woodfox's conviction has been overturned three different times.
In 2010, a Louisiana court ruled against Mr. Woodfox's freedom. At that point he had been in solitary for nearly 38 years.
According to Amnesty International, prison records show that Woodfox has not committed any serious disciplinary errors for many years and has proven that he does not pose a threat to himself or others.
“Nothing can justify the cruelty that the state has inflicted on Albert Woodfox,” said Tessa Murphy, a USA campaigner for Amnesty International. “After an unsafe conviction and 40 years of cruel treatment, he must now be allowed his freedom.”
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