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Amnesty Intl. delivers Angola 3 petitions but Gov. Jindal refuses to meet
by International Coalition to free the Angola 3 Thursday, May. 17, 2012 at 2:44 AM

On April 17, 2012, Amnesty International was joined by a delegation of supporters, holding a press conference at the Louisiana State Capitol building in Baton Rouge, LA, and hand delivering to Governor Bobby Jindal's office the petition initiated by Amnesty International demanding the immediate release of the Angola 3's Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox from solitary confinement. Governor Jindal refused to meet with the delegation despite several attempts by Amnesty International to contact him in the weeks leading up to the petition delivery. Below are statements from Amnesty International and Robert King, Herman Wallace, and Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3.

Amnesty Intl. delive...
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(written 22 April 2012)

Tuesday 17 April 2012 marked 40 years of incarceration in solitary confinement for my two comrades, Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace. On that day the world stood up against this injustice. Thousands of people from 125 countries were with us in spirit at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with representatives from Amnesty USA, NAACP, National Action Network, Congresswoman Patricia Smith of the Black Caucus and supporters. We handed in a petition of over 65,000 signatures to Governor Jindal demanding Herman and Albert’s immediate release from solitary confinement. United we all called for justice; justice from the torture of solitary confinement; justice from wrongful conviction.

For over 11 years, since my release in 2001 from 31 years in Angola penitentiary (29 years in solitary confinement) I have campaigned for justice for Herman and Albert and against a cruel and immoral legal system which tortures and wrongly incarcerates many thousands of Herman’s and Albert’s. I have traveled to over 40 countries and spoken to thousands of young people, students, governments, NGO’s, lawyers and those involved in the social justice movement. Knowing what I know, and knowing the illegal and inhumane torture that Herman and Albert endure on USA soil, I will continue to shine a light on injustice wherever it rears its ugly head.

I know that public pressure works and that public opinion matters. I have seen it at work in the courts. I have seen how it can make a difference in the decision making of those in the system that determine a sentence, a verdict or a judgment. I have also seen it at work in the media when they report on stories that must be told. But we must not only continue because of these facts, we must continue as the authorities need to know that people are watching them and that they are accountable to us, the people.

Standing on the State Capitol steps on Tuesday 17 April, I felt the power of the people, of 65,000 people and more – all those who have supported the Angola 3 over the years were also with us. We could not be ignored - the media were there and wanted to report on this, organizations stood by our side in support. Amnesty’s presence was felt. For me the day was bitter sweet, bitter with a deep sadness that we were marking this day but sweet seeing the years of efforts and struggle culminating in this day. The tide is changing and the time for change is now. We have the wind at our back and we need to keep on moving.

The fight for justice never ends. The fight to free Herman and Albert and all political prisoners continues.

All power to the people.



Exactly 40 years ago today…on April 17, we will have been incarcerated for 40 years in solitary confinement in the USA. This is nothing new to Albert and I, nor to hundreds of thousands in US prisons. However it means absolutely nothing to the politicians who dictate human rights to the rest of the world or to the non-elected keepers of America's prisons who keep us in cells 6x9 feet for 23 hours a day despite the lack of evidence that led to our conviction for a crime we are actually innocent of.

Surviving solitary confinement is to survive the daily threat of sadistic abuse, destruction of personal property, being thrown into the dungeon, or moved to a psychiatric unit where men constantly scream, curse and throw their waste at each other. To survive solitary requires a willpower strong enough to endure these state sanctioned tortures. State and Federal judges are knowledgeable of these illegal torture chambers and yet allow them to exist.

Albert and I are not asking for justice under this present system, we seek only freedom!

Your moral condemnation and the action that you take when you sign the Amnesty petition makes a critical difference. We need to send a clear message to the authorities that keeping us incarcerated in solidarity confinement for 40 years is not acceptable. We want to thank Amnesty International and you for all that you do and ask that you join us in our 4 decades of struggle for justice.

I am Herman Wallace.


As we commemorate the 40th year of being held in a cell 23 hours a day, I would like to say a few words about what it is like to be in solitary confinement.

I am allowed a brief moment out of my 6x9 ft world for one hour of exercise. This has been my routine for 40 years. The pain and suffering goes beyond description.

To be honest I am not sure what damage has been done to me, but I do know that the feeling of pain allows me to know that I am alive. If I dwelled on the pain I have endured and stopped to think about how 40 years locked in a cage 23 hours a day has affected me, it would give insanity the victory it has sought for 40 years.

I do not have the words to convey the years of mental, emotional and physical torture I have endured. I ask that for a moment you imagine yourself standing at the edge of nothingness, looking at emptiness, that is insanity! Fighting for humanity! While being pushed closer to the edge by winds of human cruelty, with no edge in sight!

Around the world people have added their voices to the call for justice for the Angola 3. I am both honored and humbled that Amnesty International have added their voices to the call. For Angola 3 and all people held in prison across America and the world for their political voices, actions and beliefs!

So I push on, finding the strength each day to fight to live.

Freedom for the Angola 3. Power to the People.

Albert “Shaka Cinque” Woodfox


Marking 40 Years of “Inhuman” Solitary Confinement for Angola 2 Prisoners, Amnesty International Set to Deliver Tens of Thousands of Petition Signatures to Louisiana Governor

Press Conference/Photo Op Planned Tuesday, April 17 at State Capitol Building – 40th Anniversary of Inmates’ Solitary Confinement

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, 212-633-4150, strimel [at]

(Baton Rouge, La.) – On Tuesday, April 17, on the steps of the Louisiana State Capitol, Amnesty International will deliver more than 65,000 petition signatures from people worldwide, calling on Governor Bobby Jindal to immediately remove two Louisiana inmates from “inhuman” solitary confinement, where they have been held for 40 years – and denied meaningful review as to why.

On April 17, 1972, Albert Woodfox, now 65, and Herman Wallace, 70, serving a sentence for armed robbery, were placed in an isolation unit in Louisiana State Penitentiary - known as Angola Prison, charged and later convicted of the murder of a prison guard. The two men consistently denied involvement in the killing of Brent Miller. No physical evidence links them to Miller’s murder and documents have emerged suggesting the main eyewitness was bribed into giving statements against the men and that the state withheld evidence about the perjured testimony of another inmate witness. A further witness later retracted his testimony.

“Holding elderly men in six by nine foot cages after four decades -- when they pose no threat -- is inhuman and unjust,” said Everette Harvey Thompson, director of Amnesty International’s Southern Regional Office. “What evidence is there that these men are so dangerous that they must be subjected to these conditions? They have clean disciplinary histories. Afterfour decades of solitary confinement, they are physically and mentally frail. The only explanation is that they are being held in solitary confinement as retribution for political activity.

“Governor Jindal and the Department of Correction’s policies regarding the Angola 2 push the boundaries of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and fly in the face of international standards to which the United States is a party. Forty years of isolation is an outrage and must end!”

At a press conference to take place at 2-3 p.m. (central time) April 17 on the steps of the Capitol building following the petition delivery, Amnesty International’s Thompson will be joined by Robert King, the only freed man of the original Angola 3, who was held for 29 years; Alfreda Tillman Bester, general counsel to the Louisiana State Conference of the NAACP, and Angola 3 family and friends.

In June 2011, Amnesty International released a report, “100 Years in Solitary: The Angola 3 and Their Fight for Justice,” which outlines the unjust confinement of Woodfox, Wallace and King.

In the brutal conditions of the prison in the 1970s, Woodfox and Wallace founded a prison chapter of the Black Panther Party to campaign for better conditions and fair treatment. King joined the effort. The men believe they were falsely implicated in the murder because of their political activism in prison. Evidence has emerged to suggest the decision to hold them in solitary was based at least in part on their activism and association with the Black Panther Party.

Today, Woodfox and Wallace suffer from serious health problems, their lawyers say; Woodfox suffers from diabetes, heart disease and hypertension while Wallace has osteoarthritis and memory loss. The years of isolated confinement aggravated or exacerbated their health problems, their lawyers contend.

Woodfox and Wallace are confined to their 6.5 by 9 feet cells for 23 hours a day and allowed out only to exercise alone in a small outdoor cage, or to shower or walk along the cell unit corridor.

They have limited access to books, newspapers and television. For the past four decades they haven’t been allowed to work or have access to education. Social interaction has been restricted to occasional visits from friends and family and limited telephone calls.

They have also been denied any meaningful review of the reasons for their isolation.

To read the report, “100 Years in Solitary” please visit:

A short video on the story of the "Angola 2", which includes an interview with Robert King, who spent 29 years in solitary confinement in the same prison, is available on:

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.8 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.
For more information, visit
Twitter: @amnesty Facebook: Amnesty International USA

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by International Coalition to free the Angola 3 Thursday, May. 17, 2012 at 2:44 AM

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close view
by International Coalition to free the Angola 3 Thursday, May. 17, 2012 at 2:44 AM

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from behind
by International Coalition to free the Angola 3 Thursday, May. 17, 2012 at 2:44 AM

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King speaks to crowd
by International Coalition to free the Angola 3 Thursday, May. 17, 2012 at 2:44 AM

King speaks to crowd...
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speaking to media
by International Coalition to free the Angola 3 Thursday, May. 17, 2012 at 2:44 AM

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Michael Mable
by International Coalition to free the Angola 3 Thursday, May. 17, 2012 at 2:44 AM

Michael Mable...
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Albert Woodfox's brother

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Vikki Wallace speaks to crowd
by International Coalition to free the Angola 3 Thursday, May. 17, 2012 at 2:44 AM

Vikki Wallace speaks...
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Vikki Wallace w/ photo of Herman and Albert
by International Coalition to free the Angola 3 Thursday, May. 17, 2012 at 2:44 AM

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Mwalimu Johnson
by International Coalition to free the Angola 3 Thursday, May. 17, 2012 at 2:44 AM

Mwalimu Johnson...
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Mwalimu Johnson is a former prisoner and jailhouse lawyer, longtime A3 supporter. He reads a statement from Herman Wallace.

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Professor Angela A. Allen Bell
by International Coalition to free the Angola 3 Thursday, May. 17, 2012 at 2:44 AM

Professor Angela A. ...
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Prof Angela Bell, author of A3 article in Spring UC Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly.

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LA State Representative Patricia Smith
by International Coalition to free the Angola 3 Thursday, May. 17, 2012 at 2:44 AM

LA State Representat...
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Representative Patricia Haynes Smith (D) District 67; House Appropriations Committee & Chair of the La Legislative Black Caucus speaks in support of the Angola 3.

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Everette Thompson, Amnesty International
by International Coalition to free the Angola 3 Thursday, May. 17, 2012 at 2:44 AM

Everette Thompson, A...
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Nick Trenticosta, lawyer for the Angola 3
by International Coalition to free the Angola 3 Thursday, May. 17, 2012 at 2:44 AM

Nick Trenticosta, la...
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Delivering the petitions
by International Coalition to free the Angola 3 Thursday, May. 17, 2012 at 2:44 AM

Delivering the petit...
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group photo
by International Coalition to free the Angola 3 Thursday, May. 17, 2012 at 2:44 AM

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Left to Right: Herman Wallace, Robert King, and Albert Woodfox
by International Coalition to free the Angola 3 Thursday, May. 17, 2012 at 2:44 AM

Left to Right: Herma...
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