Legal Update: Herman and Albert
As Herman Wallace continues to fight the cancer that is consuming his life, the legal battle continues for Albert Woodfox. Woodfox, who has spent over 40 years in solitary confinement, has been subject to strip searches every day for the past six months. In 1978 parties signed a consent decree that outlawed these searches agreeing that they were in violation of inmate rights. Judge Daniel Leblanc who presided over this ruling passed away earlier this year. Almost immediately after his passing the strip searches that had been curtailed for Herman, Robert, Albert and others began again with renewed fervor. Now Woodfox is sometimes searched as often as six times in one day. In August, Woodfox’s legal team filed a motion to enact a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to put a hold on these invasive and inhumane searches. On Tuesday the case went to court but due to a procedural error the evidentiary hearing will be postponed for at least another 2 weeks. The state defendants could have agreed to move forward despite the error and hold the evidentiary hearing later that day, but in a cruel move of the kind that we have come to expect, they refused.
As the state stalls on Albert’s strip search case, the glimmer hope for Herman’s release was made dimmer by Magistrate Riedlinger’s opinion recently submitted to Judge Jackson. Four years after the petition was filed Federal Magistrate Stephen Riedlinger has finally submitted his 65 page opinion denying Herman’s petition for habeus corpus and further recommending that his appeal be denied.
James Gill of The Advocate, a local Louisiana newspaper, put it this way “Nobody is going to fret if he dies in prison, because that was the plan all along.” Despite these consistent and often successful attempts by the state to manipulate a legal system that is already constructed in opposition to their existence, Herman and Albert maintain their fighting spirit.
To read the latest message from Herman Wallace click HERE.
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