Socialist Worker

Angola Three: Fresh injustice as Albert Woodfox has conviction quashed, but remains imprisoned

by Ken Olende
Issue No. 2431

Black Panther logo

Black Panther logo

Former Black Panther Albert Woodfox had his conviction for murder quashed after 43 years last week—but Louisiana attorney general Buddy Caldwell still won’t let him go.

The appeal court’s judgement was based on racial discrimination in a 1998 retrial.

Albert is the last member of the Angola Three still in custody. He has been held for the majority of his life in solitary confinement for a crime he didn’t do. He still faces daily strip and cavity searches.

"We respectfully disagree with the Court's ruling”, said Caldwell who is considering whether to start a new trial to keep 67 year old Albert inside.

He was convicted alongside Herman Wallace of killing prison guard Brent Miller at Louisiana State Penitentiary—popularly known as Angola—in 1972.

Amnesty International wrote last year, “No physical evidence links them to the crime—potentially exculpatory DNA evidence has been lost and the testimony of the main eyewitness has been discredited.”

The Angola Three had set up a branch of the Black Panthers in the prison to demand an end to segregation, corruption and systematic rape in the prison. It was after this that they were accused.

Herman was released in October last year because he was fatally ill with liver cancer. He was free for two days before he died.

The third Panther, Robert King was released in 2001 after his conviction for killing another prisoner was thrown out. He had spent 29 years in solitary.

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