Wednesday, 13 March 2013

41 Years Solitary Confinement!!

        Another reminder of what goes on in the land of the preacher of democracy and freedom, the Good ol' US of A. This appeal from Amnesty International.

Amnesty International UK Home
Amnesty International UK

After 40 years of ‘inhuman’ punishment, conviction overturned for third time

Albert Woodfox Copyright:
Albert Woodfox has spent most of the last 41 years in solitary confinement, locked up for 23 hours a day in a 6.5 x 9 foot cell. Yet a judge recently overturned his murder conviction for the third time on the basis of racial discrimination in the selection of the grand jury foreperson prior to Albert’s re-trial in 1998.
Now the Attorney General of Louisiana has a choice: appeal the ruling and drag out Albert’s ordeal for many more years, or let it stand - paving the way for Albert to be re-tried or freed.

Take Action for Albert Woodfox
Dear John,
My name is Robert H. King. I was released on 8 February 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 neither are any 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 could appeal against this ruling – he has two weeks left to do so. Or he could 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.
I know what being locked up in that cramped, dark cell does to a man, and I fear for my friend Albert whose physical and mental health is failing fast. The sense of how cruelly and unjustly Albert and the rest of us were treated still burns as strong as ever - as does my will to end their ordeal.
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 defence 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, particularly to all of you in the UK.
Wednesday 17 April 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.
Power to the people! 
As ever,
Robert H. King
Robert H. King
The only freed member of the Angola 3
Robert H. King
Take Action

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