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Angola 3 Film Screenings in SF w/ Robert King on March 31
by Angola 3 News
Sunday Mar 27th, 2011 2:36 AM
The new British documentary film about the Angola 3, entitled "In the Land of the Free" is being shown in San Francisco at 4 PM and 7:30 PM on Thursday, March 31, as part of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival. Robert King, the only one of the Angola 3 to be released (in 2001, after 29 years in continuous solitary confinement), will be speaking at both events.
640_in-the-land-of-the-free-poster.jpg
The first screening is at 4 PM at the Presentation Theater, 2350 Turk Boulevard @ Masonic where Robert King will be joined by:

- Richard Brown, former Black Panther; former political prisoner/San Francisco 8 case; Member, U.S. Human Rights Network and Committee for the Defense of Human Rights.

- William Crossman, Adjunct Professor, Graduate Studies, Golden Gate University, SF; Member, U.S. Human Rights Network and San Francisco 8 Defense Committee

Then, at 7:30 PM, there will be another showing at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission Street (at 3rd Street). More information is available here at the Human Rights Watch website:

http://www.hrw.org/en/iff/land-free

Herman Wallace, Albert Woodfox and Robert King—the Angola 3—have spent a combined century in solitary confinement in Angola, the Louisiana State Penitentiary. Targeted by prison officials for being members of the Black Panther Party and for fighting against terrible prison conditions, they were convicted of the murder of a prison guard, a verdict they continue to challenge and for which new evidence continues to emerge. In the Land of the Free... presents their ongoing story as dramatic events continue to unfold. Narrated by Samuel L Jackson

Human Rights Watch has published many reports on prison and detention facilities in the United States. Prisoners too often confront conditions that are abusive, degrading and dangerous in violation of international human rights law. Learn more here:

http://www.hrw.org/en/united-states/us-program/prison-and-detention-conditions

Watch the film's trailer and learn more about the film here:

http://www.inthelandofthefreefilm.com

-----

ANGOLA 3 FACT SHEET

(written by the International Coalition to Free the Angola Three -- http://www.angola3.org)

38 years ago, deep in rural Louisiana, three young black men were silenced for trying to expose continued segregation, systematic corruption, and horrific abuse in the biggest prison in the US, an 18,000 acre former slave plantation called Angola.

Peaceful, non-violent protest in the form of hunger and work strikes organized by inmates caught the attention of Louisiana’s elected leaders and local media in the early 1970s. They soon called for investigations into a host of unconstitutional and extraordinarily inhumane practices commonplace in what was then the “bloodiest prison in the South.” Eager to put an end to outside scrutiny, prison officials began punishing inmates they saw as troublemakers.

At the height of this unprecedented institutional chaos, Herman Wallace, Albert Woodfox, and Robert King were charged with murders they did not commit and thrown into 6x9 foot solitary cells.

Robert was released in 2001, but Herman and Albert remain in solitary, continuing to fight for their freedom.

Despite a number of reforms achieved in the mid-70s, many officials repeatedly ignore both evidence of misconduct, and of innocence.

The State’s case is riddled with inconsistencies, obfuscations, and missteps. A bloody print at the murder scene does not match Herman, Albert or anyone charged with the crime and was never compared with the limited number of other prisoners who had access to the dormitory on the day of the murder.

Potentially exculpatory DNA evidence has been “lost” by prison officials—including fingernail scrapings from the victim and barely visible “specks” of blood on clothing alleged to have been worn by Albert.

Both Herman and Albert had multiple alibi witnesses with nothing to gain who testified they were far away from the scene when the murder occurred.

In contrast, several State witnesses lied under oath about rewards for their testimony. The prosecution’s star witness Hezekiah Brown told the jury: “Nobody promised me nothing.” But new evidence shows Hezekiah, a convicted serial rapist serving life, agreed to testify only in exchange for a pardon, a weekly carton of cigarettes, TV, birthday cakes, and other luxuries.

“Hezekiah was one you could put words in his mouth,” the Warden reminisced chillingly in an interview about the case years later.

Even the widow of the victim after reviewing the evidence believes Herman and Albert’s trials were unfair, has grave doubts about their guilt, and is calling upon officials to find the real killer.

In fact, Albert’s conviction has now been overturned twice by judges citing racial discrimination, prosecutorial misconduct, inadequate defense, and suppression of exculpatory evidence.

Sadly however, AEDPA-gutted habeas protections that limit federal power recently allowed the U.S. Court of Appeals to defer judgment to Louisiana, where seemingly vengeful prosecutors insist Albert is “the most dangerous person on the planet.”

In spite of this setback, the validity of Albert's conviction is again under review due to apparent discrimination in the selection of a grand jury foreperson, an injustice that may finally set Albert free.

Although a State Judicial Commissioner similarly recommended reversing Herman’s conviction based on new, compelling evidence exposing prosecutorial misconduct and constitutional violations, the Louisiana Supreme Court denied his appeal without comment.

Undeterred, Herman has now turned to the Federal Courts to prove his innocence and win his freedom.

Meanwhile, Louisiana prison officials stubbornly refuse to release them from solitary because “there’s been no rehabilitation” from “practicing Black Pantherism.”

Nearly a decade ago Herman, Albert and Robert filed a civil lawsuit challenging the inhumane and increasingly pervasive practice of long-term solitary confinement. Magistrate Judge Dalby describes their almost four decades of solitary as “durations so far beyond the pale” she could not find “anything even remotely comparable in the annals of American jurisprudence.” The case, expected to go to trial in 2011, will detail unconstitutionally cruel and unusual treatment and systematic due process violations at the hands of Louisiana officials.

We believe that only by openly examining the failures and inequities of the criminal justice system in America can we restore integrity to that system.

We must not wait.

We can make a difference.

As the A3 did years before, now is the time to challenge injustice and demand that the innocent and wrongfully incarcerated be freed.

-----

WRITE THE ANGOLA THREE

Herman Wallace
#76759
Elayn Hunt Correctional Center
CCR - B - #6
PO Box 174
St Gabriel, LA 70776

Albert Woodfox
#72148
David Wade Correctional Center, N1A
670 Bell Hill Rd.
Homer, LA 71040

Robert King
c/o Kings Freelines
2008 New York Av. #B
Austin, Texas 78702
kingsfreelines (at) gmail.com
§Photo from UK film showing
by Angola 3 News Sunday Mar 27th, 2011 2:37 AM
uk-group.jpg
This group photo includes Gordon Roddick, Bianca Jagger, Colin & Livia Firth, and more.
§The Angola 3
by Angola 3 News Sunday Mar 27th, 2011 2:37 AM
angola3.jpg
Left to Right: Herman Wallace, Robert King, and Albert Woodfox
§Robert King and Anita Roddick
by Angola 3 News Sunday Mar 27th, 2011 2:37 AM
Robert and Anita share a laugh in August 2002.
§Free the Angola 3
by Angola 3 News Sunday Mar 27th, 2011 2:37 AM
a3mural.jpg

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