Published On: Wed, Oct 2nd, 2013

Herman Wallace, ‘Angola 3’ member, freed after 40 years in solitary confinement

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered the immediate release of Herman Wallace, a member of the so-called “Angola 3,” who was held in solitary confinement in Louisiana for more than 40 years and is now dying of liver cancer.

“It is further ordered that the State immediately release Mr. Wallace from custody,” read the court ruling by Judge Brian A. Jackson, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana.

“Our Constitution requires this result even where, as here, it means overturning Mr. Wallace’s conviction nearly forty years after it was entered,” the ruling added.

Wallace,  age 71, who was serving an armed robbery sentence when an Angola guard was fatally stabbed in 1972. Wallace and two others, known as the Angola Three, were convicted in the death.

The state was given 30 days to notify Wallace, 71, if it plans to re-indict him, the court ruling said.

Originally serving time for unrelated cases of armed robbery, Wallace and fellow prisoner Albert Woodfox were convicted of the murder of a prison guard in 1972, and placed in isolation at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, also known as Angola Prison.

A third inmate, Robert King, was also convicted of murder, but his conviction was overturned in 2001, after 29 years of isolation.

“Mr. Wallace has been granted a new trial, but his illness is terminal and advanced,” a statement from his legal team read. “However, the unfathomable punishment of more than four decades which Mr. Wallace spent in solitary confinement conditions will be the subject of litigation which will continue even after Mr. Wallace passes away.

“It is Mr. Wallace’s hope that this litigation will help ensure that others, including his lifelong friend and fellow ‘Angola 3’ member, Albert Woodfox, do not continue to suffer such cruel and unusual confinement even after Mr. Wallace is gone.”

Photo/Vectorportal via wikimedia commons

Photo/Vectorportal via wikimedia commons

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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