The last of the Angola 3 inmates is set to be released from solitary confinement as of Monday this week. U.S. District Judge James Brady of Baton Rouge, Louisiana ordered the release of 68-year-old Albert Woodfox after more than forty years in solitary confinement and took the extra step of barring any future Louisiana prosecutors from trying him for a third time.
Woodfox had been placed in solitary confinement in 1972 after being charged with the death of a Louisiana State Penitentiary guard in April of 1972 in the prison farm known as Angola Prison, Louisiana’s only maximum-security prison.
Woodfox makes up part of the Angola 3 who were the group charged with the death of the prison guard in 1972. The other inmates, Robert King and Herman Wallace were also convicted and forced to spend time in solitary confinement. Robert King spent 29 years in solitary confinement before being released. In October of 2013, Wallace was also released after more than forty-one years in prison, with Woodfox being the last to be released. Woodfox’s forty-three year sentence also makes him the longest standing solitary confinement prisoner in the United States.
The plight of the Angola 3 has been the subject of two documentary films and has received international attention which led to Amnesty International’s July 2013 campaign to release Herman Wallace who at the time had advanced liver cancer. Unfortunately Wallace died the day after he was re-indicted. Wallace being re-indicted could be the reason that the Judge in Monday’s ruling barred any chance of future prosecutions against Woodfox.