The Angola 3
The Angola 3 (sometimes referred to as the “A3”) refers to Herman Wallace, Albert Woodfox and Robert King—three men who combined have served more than 100 years in solitary confinement.
Wallace and Woodfox were accused of the 1972 murder of white Angola prison guard Brent Miller, while Robert King was wrongfully convicted of murdering a fellow inmate.
In 2000, after 29 years in solitary confinement, King pleaded to a lesser charge in order to be released. He is now actively fighting for the release of Wallace and Woodfox, who are believed by their supporters to have been wrongfully con- victed as punishment for their political activism. Their case has garnered attention from human rights activists and celebrities worldwide.
Since 1972, Wallace and Woodfox’s status in solitary has been considered by the prison review board more than 150times. In 1996, prison policy was changed to remove “original reason for lockdown” as a justification for continuing to hold a person in solitary, but the review board has continued to cite this exact factor as a reason for continuing the prisoners’ isolation. The Louisiana Supreme Court has repeatedly denied appeals despite rulings acknowledging racial discrimination, prosecutorial misconduct, inadequate defense and suppression of exculpatory evidence. Wallace’s criminal case is now before the federal court, with a trial anticipated for 2013.
In addition to entering appeals, King, Wallace and Woodfox have filed a civil rights lawsuit against the state of Louisiana, citing violation of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits “cruel and unusual punishments.” The lawsuit also cites violation of the First Amendment, arguing that the men have been wrongfully convicted for their political beliefs, and violation of the Fourteenth Amendment with regard to how their status in solitary has been reviewed.
Caption: Herman Wallace's memories in his cell.
Credit: Storyline Entertainment.
» American Experience. "The Black Panther Party, 1969."
» Amnesty International. "USA: 100 Years in Solitary: The 'Angola 3' and Their Fight for Justice." June 7, 2011.
» Democracy Now. "40 Years in Solitary Confinement: Two Members of Angola 3 Remain in Isolation in Louisiana Prison."
» International Coalition to Free the Angola 3.
» International Coalition to Free the Angola 3. "The Case of the Angola 3."
» Usborne, Simon. "Robert King: I'll Fight Until the Day I Die." The Independent, March 23, 2010.