Release Herman Wallace of the Angola Three: He is about to die of cancer in prison after 40 years of solitary confinement – Slate Magazine

The murder case is embarrassingly weak and rife with evidence of investigative and prosecutorial misconduct, including the bribing of witnesses and the suppression of exculpatory evidence. Even Brent Miller’s widow has come out in support of revisiting the men’s convictions. The case rests on four inmate witnesses, each of whom gave statements inconsistent with their testimony. Wallace’s lawyers learned decades later that the witnesses were promised all sorts of favors, including cigarettes, food, and even the possibility of a pardon in one case, in exchange for their testimony. One of the Angola wardens at the time has been recorded saying of the state’s primary witness, Hezekiah Brown: “you could put words in his mouth.” A bloody fingerprint and a number of other prints found at the scene matched none of the defendants, yet the prison didn’t try to find a match among the rest of the prison population.In 2009 federal Magistrate Judge Docia Dalby wrote that the extreme length of Wallace’s and Woodfox’s isolation was “so far beyond the pale that this Court has not found anything even remotely comparable in the annals of American jurisprudence.” So why has it continued?In a 2008 deposition, Angola Warden Burl Cain said “Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace is sic locked in time with that Black Panther revolutionary actions they were doing way back when, and that they’re still hooked up to that.” Asked to assume Woodfox was innocent of the Miller murder, Cain still insisted he should remain isolated. Otherwise “I would have me all kinds of problems, more than I could stand, and I would have the blacks chasing after them. I would have chaos and conflict, and I believe that.” Courts and legislators usually defer to prison officials like Cain—a central reason that 80,000 prisoners are currently in solitary confinement in American jails and prisons.

via Release Herman Wallace of the Angola Three: He is about to die of cancer in prison after 40 years of solitary confinement – Slate Magazine.

via Release Herman Wallace of the Angola Three: He is about to die of cancer in prison after 40 years of solitary confinement – Slate Magazine.

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