This piece was reprinted by OpEd News with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.
The Angola Three: 38 Years in Prison Hell - by Stephen Lendman
On March 30, 2010, an Amnesty International (AI) Public Statement read:
"USA: Amnesty International calls for immediate end to nearly 73 years of solitary confinement endured by Louisiana prisoners Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox."
Both men are at the Louisiana State Penitentiary (called Angola and The Farm) - in terms of acreage, America's largest prison, a maximum security one with over 5,000 inmates and 1,800 staff members on 18,000 acres. Once a slave plantation, it's the same now as then, and it's legal under the 13th Amendment stating:
"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."
Except for brief intervals, Wallace has been there for 38 years, Woodfox for nearly 35 - confined for 23 hours a day in 2 x 3 meter cells with little natural light, and "allowed outdoor exercise in a small cage, for one hour, three days a week, contrary to (what's) specified in the United Nations Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. Restrictions are imposed on their personal property, reading materials, access to legal resources, work and visits." Their cages are unprotected from rain or oppressive heat. Overall, they're treated like animals, not human beings.
Until March 2009, both were at Angola. Wallace was then transferred to Elayn Hunt Correctional Center in St. Gabriel and remains in solitary confinement. They and Robert King are the "Angola 3," convicts since 1972, for the murder of white prison guard Brent Miller that year. No physical evidence linked them to the crime, their convictions based solely (as later documentation revealed) on bribed inmate testimony in return for leniency. Another witness later recanted.
Although not at Angola at the time, King was blamed but never charged. In 1973, he was bogusly accused of murdering another prisoner, freed only in 2001 after pleading guilty to "conspiracy to commit murder" as a condition for release on time served.
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).