Last Tuesday a huge crowd of supporters rallied after Albert Woodfox’s hearing to show solidarity with the Angola 3 and to demonstrate opposition for the cruel and unusual use of solitary confinement. Present was a broad spectrum of supporters from the faith based, activist, college and local communities.
Woodfox has been held in solitary confinement, or what the state of Louisiana calls “Closed Cell Restriction” for 42 years. These conditions amount to 23 hours a day in a 6×9 foot cell alone. His original conviction has been overturned 3 times, most recently by Judge Brady. Each time the state of Louisiana has appealed the decisions in an effort to reindict Woodfox for a crime he did not commit.
On Tuesday Albert’s legal team made the case that there was a pattern of racial discrimination in the selection of the grand jury that convicted Albert in West Feliciana Parish in 1972. Despite clear evidence to the contrary, the state countered that argument with the claim that evidence of discrimination was razor thin
Former Black Panther and Common Ground Relief founder Malik Rahim said of the proceedings: “Their main thing is to always show that model to others, that if you stand up for justice…this is what we’ll do to you. We will lock you up and we will keep you no matter how much it costs or how long it takes”
Despite Attorney General Buddy Caldwell’s claims about Albert being the most dangerous criminal in the State of Louisiana, Albert maintains a flawless behavioral record as Amnesty International cites in their most recent campaign for his release.
Robert King, Jackie Sumell, Mwalimu Johnson and Rev. Dr. Patricia Teel Bates spoke at the rally after the hearing. Each emphasized that Albert’s case is but one part of a larger struggle to end the practice of solitary confinement, which by its very nature violates the 8th Amendment to the US Constitution that outlaws cruel and unusual punishment.
As we wait anxiously in the 90 days before a decision is made, we remain full of hope and inspired by Albert’s own kindhearted, revolutionary fighting spirit.
Keep checking back here and www.angola3news.blogspot.com for more updates.
Power to the People
The Herman’s House Team