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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: U.S. | Police State and Prisons
End 41 years of cruel and inhuman solitary confinement for Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3
Below is a new statement, just released by Robert H. King urging people to support Amnesty International's newly-launched campaign supporting Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3. This month, Woodfox's conviction was overturned by US District Court Judge James Brady. In response Amnesty International has launched an online action campaign urging Louisiana Attorney General James Caldwell not to appeal this ruling to the Fifth Circuit Court.
My name is Robert H. King. I was released on February 8, 2001 after spending 31 years in prison - 29 of them in solitary confinement at the infamous Louisiana State Prison also known as 'Angola'.
Confined there with me were Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace, the other two friends who make up 'the Angola 3'. Herman and Albert have now spent 41 years in prison. And though they are no longer housed at Angola, both remain in solitary confinement at another prison - a punishment Amnesty has described as 'cruel, inhuman and degrading'.
Prior to and since my release from prison, I have continued to campaign to free Herman and Albert. Last week, that campaign took a huge step forward with the ruling by a federal district court that there was racial discrimination in the selection of the jury foreperson prior to Albert's re-trial in 1998.
Louisiana's Attorney General has already filed his intention to appeal this against this ruling. But he can still do the right thing and end four decades of injustice by letting the ruling stand, clearing the way for Albert to be re-tried or simply walk free at last.
This isn't the first or even the second time Albert's conviction has been overturned. Previously judges have cited racial discrimination, misconduct by the prosecution and inadequate defense in their rulings. There is also troubling evidence that a key eyewitness against Albert had been bribed, and no physical evidence linking him to the murder has ever been found.
However, I also know how many of you share my sense of injustice and that we can count on your ongoing support. When I spoke to Albert last week he asked me to pass on his gratitude to his 'legions of supporters' across the world.
Wednesday, April 17 will mark the 41st anniversary of our incarceration in Angola. Please help ensure that this year it is a day of hope - or even freedom - for my friend, Albert Woodfox.
Robert H. King
The only freed member of the Angola 3