Herman Wallace Dies After 41 Years In Solitary

‘Angola 3′ member Herman Wallace dies three days after being freed from 41 years of solitary

by Trashfire / Earth First! Newswire

A former prisoner who had been free for only three days after serving more than 40 years in solitary confinement in Louisiana died Friday of complications from liver cancer.

In a letter published in the San Francisco Bay View on Sept. 12, Wallace wrote that doctors had given him two months to live after they stopped his treatment altogether on Aug. 31.

Originally serving time for unrelated cases of armed robbery, Wallace and fellow prisoner Albert Woodfox were convicted of the murder of a prison guard in 1972, and placed in isolation at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, also known as Angola Prison.

A third inmate, Robert King, was also convicted of murder, but his conviction was overturned in 2001, after 29 years of isolation.

Wallace and Woodfox, who have continued to deny involvement in the guard’s killing, have been the subjects of documentary films. In July, Amnesty International called for their release on humanitarian grounds, claiming that “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.”

Angola Three members said they were only implicated because of their involvement with Angola’s Black Panther chapter. While at Angola, Wallace and Woodfox started the chapter to fight against the culture of violence and rape pervasive there at the time.

Herman Wallace’s sketch of the dimensions of his cell

Thursday afternoon, less than 24 hours after Wallace had been transported into hospice care, a newly-convened grand jury in West Feliciana re-indicted Wallace on the murder charge.

The last incarcerated member of the Angola 3, Woodfox remains incarcerated at David Wade Correctional Center in Homer and is appealing to the 5th Circuit Court for his release. He is also seeking a restraining order against the state for daily strip and cavity searches by guards at the facility.

Louisiana State Penitentiary (Angola) is the largest maximum security prison in the U.S with 5,000 prisoners and covering 28 square miles.


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