Friday, April 29, 2016

New UK Guardian interview with Albert Woodfox, two months after his release

In a UK Guardian article published today, Albert Woodfox reflects upon two months of life outside of prison walls and solitary confinement. The article concludes with the following excerpt:

The most disturbing part of freedom, Woodfox says, has been the dawning realisation since his release that in America in 2016 there is very little sense of political or social struggle. When he entered prison in the 1970s the country was on fire with political debate; now, as he puts it, “everybody seems to be ‘Me, me, me, me, me.’ It’s all about me, what I need and how I’m going to get it.”

That public indifference has in turn, he believes, allowed solitary confinement to flourish, to the extent that 100,000 Americans are subjected to it each year.

“The people and the government and the courts have turned their back on prisons, and that lets the wardens and officers act as judge, jury and executioner,” he says. “People don’t seem to be socially aware, that’s why solitary confinement exists and why it’s so brutal. Because nobody cares.”

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A3 Newsletter: Broadening the Platform to Correct Past Injustices

A3 Newsletter, February 12, 2016: This is What Freedom Looks Like... Two Months of Liberation

WATCH: Albert Speaks at Southeastern Louisiana University

What a joy it is to have Albert out of prison, after all these years of struggle, it is a rare and special treat to hear his voice on the phone each morning as we review the days schedule and events. In Albert's first month of freedom he stayed busy every day, obtaining identification papers, scheduling doctor and dentist appointments, visiting with family and supporters - every moment was occupied. Since the end of March Albert has been in Texas, visiting with his brother Michael and his family and getting some much needed rest.

This weekend, Albert and King head to Pittsburgh to participate in the International Conference on Solitary Confinement, where they're sure to run into many of the activists and supporters that have been involved in the effort to end solitary confinement. After Pittsburgh, Albert will be headed back to New Orleans to attend his first family reunion! Early May finds him headed to Los Angeles for the Death Penalty Focus Conference and then on to a long- anticipated trip to Yosemite with Sacramento supporters, Gail Shaw and Billy X Jennings. Every day is an adventure; shopping, banking, post office- all the things we have grown accustomed to are new to Albert.

Below you'll find the latest statement from the legal team. As Albert stated in one of his early interviews after his release, "There's a movement in the country about solitary confinement...we think that we were the spark...for that." We couldn't agree more! Although both the civil and criminal cases have been settled, significant changes to the Department of Corrections policies in Louisiana regarding solitary are in the works and we hope to be able to share more detail in the coming months. Meanwhile, around the country and around the world, there has been greatly heightened awareness around the issues of solitary confinement and like Albert and King, we feel that the case of the Angola 3 has been instrumental in this raised consciousness and are thrilled to see articles such as the one from Ottawa that use the Angola 3 case to leverage the abolition of solitary.

Albert looks forward to joining the fray in carrying on the movement to abolish solitary and to expose the inequalities of the criminal justice system. We are proud to stand behind Albert and King and assist them in any way that we can as they carry on with their advocacy work.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

London, April 21: Amnesty UK Preview Screening of 'Cruel and Unusual' by Vadim Jean

(Event info from Amnesty UK)

When:  Thursday, 21 April 2016 from 18:30 to 21:30 (BST)
Where:  Amnesty International UK - 25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA, United Kingdom

Amnesty International UK is delighted to announce a special UK preview screening of ‘Cruel and Unusual’, a new documentary feature film telling the story of the Angola 3's struggle for justice, fighting their unjust convictions and the cruel and unusual punishment of long term solitary confinement in Louisiana prisons. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Monday, March 7, 2016

Poem by Tina Otito Tamsho-Thomas: Tribute to Albert Woodfox

Tribute to Albert Woodfox
Angola 3 Political Prisoner

Each and all are waiting
Waiting for
the justice day,
Liberating Humankind.

Years forty three imprisoned,
conscious voice unarrested.
Waiting for
the justice day,
Liberty attested.

We will bring our warrior home,
gifted to the world,
his justice day,
freedom flags unfurled.

Copyright©Tina Otito Tamsho-Thomas

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A3 Newsletter: Albert Is Free - Support Albert's Fund

A3 Newsletter, February 25, 2016: 
Oh Happy Day - Albert Woodfox is Free At Last

 (PHOTO: Left to Right, Robert King, Albert Woodfox, and Malik Rahim. This photo and two further below of Albert spending quality time with friends and family are courtesy of Palomita Firecracker's Facebook page.)

Giving Thanks

We dedicate this newsletter to the spirit of Anita Roddick for her dedication to the Angola 3 struggle for freedom and to her family who stayed the course through the darkest hours.

To the many Angola 3 supporters that have stood by us in the past several decades as we fought for the freedom of Robert King, Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox, and against the torture that is solitary confinement, we are more grateful than words can express.

It has been a long journey and there have been many milestones along the way. Movies have been made, books have been written, institutions and non-profit organizations have joined the struggle, legal assistance has ebbed and waned, but throughout, the coalition and its supporters have never stopped taking action to change the state of solitary confinement and freedom for Albert.

Last Friday, on February 19th 2016 those actions culminated in Albert's freedom. Albert is absolutely, 100% free!  Below is just some of the remarkable media coverage that is circulating the globe.

Please Give To Albert's Fund

As we celebrate that ALL THE ANGOLA 3 ARE FREE please join us in laying the foundation for Albert's new life. We'll never be able to make up for over four decades in solitary but those of us in minimum security know how costly life out here is. 100% of all donations will be given directly to Albert.

You can donate online through the A3 Coalition's fiscal sponsor, Community Futures Collective, designating "Albert" in the memo. If you prefer to send a check, please make it out to "Community Futures Collective" and write "Albert" in the check's memo section. Mail it to:

Community Futures Collective
221 Idora Ave
Vallejo, CA 94591

From the entire Angola 3 community- thank you.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Democracy Now! interviews Albert Woodfox, Robert H King and lawyer Billy Sothern

Watch part two of the DN! interview here

Well, joining us now in a broadcast exclusive from New Orleans PBS station WLAE is Albert Woodfox himself, giving his first televised interview since his release on Friday. Also joining us there is Robert King, the other surviving member of the Angola 3. And Albert Woodfox’s attorney, Billy Sothern, also joins us from New Orleans.

We welcome you all to Democracy Now! Albert Woodfox, how does it feel to be free?

ALBERT WOODFOX: I haven’t quite figured it out yet, but it feels great.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, can you talk about what happened on Friday as you left the parish jail in New Orleans? This was after 45 years in prison, 43 years in solitary confinement. You’re the longest-standing prisoner in solitary confinement in the United States.

ALBERT WOODFOX: I guess, you know, for a moment there, everything seemed surreal. And we had to sit around, about an hour and some, waiting on the final documents to be faxed to the West Feliciana detention center. And when that finally happened and, you know, my brother and my attorneys, they walked out with me, and family and friends began to express joy and excitement. And we got in my brother’s car, and we slowly drove. And we answered a few questions, and then we proceeded to go say goodbye to my mother...

Watch the full interview here.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Albert Woodfox interviewed by NY Times, UK Guardian, The Advocate and Time-Picayune

THE INTERVIEWS:   NY Times: For 45 Years in Prison, Louisiana Man Kept Calm and Held Fast to Hope  II  UK Guardian: 'I would not let them drive me insane'  II  The Advocate: Albert Woodfox savors freedom after decades behind bars  II  Times-Picayune: "I learned how strong the human spirit can be"

The New York Times (excerpt):

Now on Saturday morning, he was sitting in a hotel suite alongside one of his brothers and members of the legal team that had worked for years for his release. He was calm, composed, steady as a surgeon, but one imagines that survival would have been impossible without this sort of disposition.

“I don’t think I ever felt that I would die in prison,” Mr. Woodfox, who is black, said. But he acknowledged: “As the years passed, it became more difficult to feel that way.”

The Louisiana State Penitentiary, the 18,000-acre prison in an elbow of the Mississippi River, is known familiarly as Angola. This was the name for the cotton plantation that once occupied the same grounds, itself named for the part of Africa where the plantation’s slaves had come from. It is the largest maximum-security prison in the country, and in the early 1970s it was possibly the bloodiest.

“Almost every day, somewhere in the prison, somebody was getting stabbed or killed or beat with an iron pipe,” Mr. Woodfox recalled.

Read the full article here.

The UK Guardian (excerpt):

In his first interview since being released from West Feliciana parish detention center in Louisiana, Woodfox told the Guardian that in 1972, when he was put into “closed cell restriction”, or CCR, he made a conscious decision that he would survive. He and his comrades from the so-called Angola 3, Herman Wallace and Robert King, made a vow to be strong.

“We made a conscious decision that we would never become institutionalized,” he said. “As the years went by, we made efforts to improve and motivate ourselves.”

The key, he said, was to stay connected to what was happening in the outside world.

“We made sure we always remained concerned about what was going on in society – that way we knew that we would never give up. I promised myself that I would not let them break me, not let them drive me insane.”

Read the full article here.

The Advocate (excerpt):

For the first time in nearly half a century, Albert Woodfox was allowed to sit up front.

The 69-year-old member of the Angola 3, who was released Friday after spending most of his life in solitary confinement, said one of his first impressions of the world outside prison was having a wide, front-seat view of the landscape as his brother drove him away from jail.

“It felt strange because I was sitting in the front of his car rather than the back of a van,” Woodfox told The Advocate on Saturday in New Orleans, just over 24 hours since his historic release...

...Woodfox said he plans to start a community-based organization to aid people recently released from prison and to persuade lawmakers to move forward with progressive prison reform.

And he also hopes to correct the picture that’s been made of him as violent troublemaker. He claims he went almost 20 years without a disciplinary write-up.

“I’m not the monster that I was portrayed to be,” he said.

Read the full article here.

The Times-Picayune (excerpt):

Woodfox sat mostly still Saturday, sometimes raising a hand to make a point or touch his face. His brother, Michel Mable, had warned Woodfox was feeling overwhelmed. But Woodfox's voice was steady. He's lost his composure only one time since walking out of jail Friday, Woodfox said. It was when he hugged his daughter for the first time.

"That was something," he said, tucking his head into both his fists.

Adjusting to the outside may take some time, he said, but he's doing OK. He recognizes the streets of New Orleans, but the roadway seems narrower as buildings he doesn't recognize have popped up.

Woodfox's daughter, with whom he has only recently started to build a relationship, cooked his requested meal: cream corn, prepared the way his late mother used to make it, with rice and smoked sausage.

He credits the teachings of the Black Panther Party and his bond with Wallace and King for his mental survival through years of solitary confinement, referred to by the Louisiana Corrections Department as "closed-cell restriction."

"It's like we had some kind of magical connection," he said of Wallace and King. "We knew we had to turn outward, and stay connected to society and not become institutionalized."

Read the full article here.

Friday, February 19, 2016

BREAKING! Albert Woodfox is Freed TODAY on his 69th Birthday!!

MEDIA COVERAGE:   UK Guardian  II  Washington Post  II  NBC  II  The Advocate (with new photo)  II  Times-Picayune  II  NY Times  II  Video by WBRZ  II  BBC News  II  Irish Times  II  Amnesty Intl UK  II  Toronto Star / AP  II  CNN (with new photo)  II  Los Angeles Times  II  Daily Mail / AFP  II  La Nacion (Argentina)  II  US Congressman Cedric Richmond  II  New Yorker

(PHOTO: Albert Woodfox following his release just moments ago!! Photo from Democracy Now!)

(WATCH Albert walk out the gates a free man!)

Take a deep breath everyone,

Just moments ago, Albert Woodfox, the last remaining member of the Angola 3 still behind bars, was released from prison 43 years and 10 months after he was first put in a 6x9 foot solitary cell for a crime he did not commit. After decades of costly litigation, Louisiana State officials have at last acted in the interest of justice and reached an agreement that brings a long overdue end to this nightmare. Albert has maintained his innocence at every step, and today, on his 69th birthday, he will finally begin a new phase of his life as a free man.

In anticipation of his release this morning, Albert thanked his many supporters and added: “Although I was looking forward to proving my innocence at a new trial, concerns about my health and my age have caused me to resolve this case now and obtain my release with this no-contest plea to lesser charges.  I hope the events of today will bring closure to many.”

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A3 Newsletter: Solitary Under Attack as 2016 Begins

(PHOTO: Tabling at the Amnesty Art for Rights event in New Orleans, December 2015)

We want to send thanks from Albert and Robert to Amnesty activists for December's Write for Rights campaign. Albert enjoyed receiving the thousands of letters and postcards which were delivered to him in sacks! We kept him up to date with photos of the country activities including his "cut out" in front of London's landmarks, the first screening of the documentary Cruel and Unusual in the Louvre Paris and the art event in New Orleans.

On the legal front, Albert's legal teams have filed their appeal of the overturning of Judge Brady's unconditional Writ with the U.S. Supreme Court. They continue to prepare for Albert's retrial, though no date has been set. The civil trial is still scheduled to begin June 27th of this year.

In St. Francisville, still behind solitary walls, Albert awaits the status of a slate of appeals of rulings pending in Louisiana's 1st Circuit Court of Appeal from September that began to set up the legal and procedural landscape for the retrial.

Unfortunately, the first of these decisions came a few days ago and served to overturn Judge Carmichael's decision requiring Albert's retrial jury to be unanimous. Despite the fact that he was afforded a unanimous jury in both of his first two trials, only 10 of 12 jurors will be required to convict or acquit him in the third. Louisiana is one of only two states that allow non-unanimous juries to hand down life sentences. Many think eventually the law will be declared unconstitutional, but not in time for Albert. His legal team is appealing this decision to the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Photos and Reportback from Dec. 12 Amnesty USA Art for Rights event in New Orleans for Albert Woodfox and other political prisoners

Read the Amnesty USA press release here.

Read a report from the day by the Times-Picayune here.

The following six photos, including the first two of Usher, were taken by Patrick Melon.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Never Silenced, Herman Wallace's Spirit is Smiling --An interview with filmmaker Angad Singh Bhalla

Never Silenced, Herman Wallace's Spirit is Smiling  
--An interview with filmmaker Angad Singh Bhalla

By Angola 3 News

Canadian filmmaker Angad Singh Bhalla has never shied away from examining politically controversial topics. Nor does he play down his own artistic goal of using media to foster political change. Bhalla's first independent work, entitled U.A.I.L. Go Back amplified the voices of Indian villagers resisting an alumina project backed by the Canadian company Alcan. The film became an important organizing tool used to pressure Alcan into ending its involvement in the project.

Bhalla has since co-founded Time of Day Media.and while working as a community organizer for immigrant rights, he produced videos for the Service Employees International Union, Working America, the Center for Constitutional Rights and other groups. His award-winning short on the lives of Indian street artists, Writings on the Wall, was broadcast on Canada’s Bravo! and Al Jazeera English.

Bhalla's debut feature documentary was the 2012 film Herman’s House, about Herman Wallace of the Angola 3 and the collaborative project Wallace worked on with artist Jackie Sumell, entitled The House That Herman Built. The film screened at more than 40 festivals, was distributed theatrically in the US and Canada, and won an Emmy Award for its 2013 POV broadcast on PBS.

The newly released, interactive website-based documentary film made by Bhalla, entitled The Deeper They Bury Me: A Call from Herman Wallace, builds upon Herman's House by further examining Herman Wallace's life, following Wallace's death from liver cancer on October 4, 2013, just three days after being released from prison. This latest film has already been well received. Along with a recent screening at the 28th annual International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, The Deeper They Bury Me has also been selected by Favourite Website Awards as the "Site of the Day" for December 14, where it is being displayed on the website's front page for the full day.

In this interview, filmmaker Angad Singh Bhalla discusses his latest film, The Deeper They Bury Me, while also reflecting upon his 2012 film Herman's House, his personal relationship with Wallace and more. Bhalla concludes the interview with a focus on the call by Amnesty International and the International Coalition to Free the Angola 3 for the immediate release of Albert Woodfox, who is the last of the Angola 3 behind bars. Despite three overturned convictions, Woodfox remains in prison and in solitary confinement, where he was first placed over 43 years ago.

(VIDEO: Coverage of the panel discussion following a recent screening of The Deeper They Bury Me at the 53rd New York Film Festival. Photos from this event by Lindsey Seide/NFB are featured below alongside still images taken from the film itself.)

Monday, December 7, 2015

New Orleans, Dec. 12: Art for Rights / Write for Rights, Amnesty Intl. event with Robert King and BMike

Join Amnesty International USA in New Orleans on December 12, from 10am to 6pm, to celebrate art, human rights and international solidarity. As part of the organization’s annual “Write for Rights” campaign, Amnesty International USA is partnering with New Orleans native, Brandan “BMike” Odums to host an “Art for Rights” pop-up exhibition at Studio Be, 2925-2999 Royal Street in New Orleans. Attendees will not only have the opportunity to write letters on behalf of prisoners and human rights defenders from around the world, they will witness the creation of 12 different murals honoring the struggles and activism of individuals on whose behalf Amnesty works.

Art can be a cultural tool during times of unrest to expose truths, helping to humanize social struggle and actualize grievances and fears. Often, it is what inspires us to action.

Amnesty has chosen to hold the inaugural event in New Orleans where Albert Woodfox, one of the 12 cases featured in this year’s Write for Rights campaign, has been held in solitary confinement for over 40 years.

Robert King, the first freed member of the Angola 3, will be joining BMike as the keynote speaker.

Art For Rights
Saturday, December 12th, 2015
10am – 6pm
2925-2999 Royal Street
New Orleans, LA


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A3 Newsletter: From the Louvre to Louisiana

While the National and International community rally to the support of Albert Woodfox, time seems to have stood still in Louisiana where the long struggle to achieve freedom for Albert Woodfox after four decades in solitary confinement for a crime he did not commit drags on nearly three years after a federal judge once again overturned Albert's conviction.

In France, the newly released " Cruel and Unusual" updates "In the Land of the Free" and digs more deeply into the arcane mode of punishment that reaches new levels of abuse in the United States- decades of solitary confinement and the results there of.

Meanwhile, Amnesty chapters both nationally and internationally urge their members to Write for the Rights of political prisoners with a special focus on twelve prisoners world-wide, including Albert Woodfox.  There will be kick off events globally and Robert King will be urging letter writers on via Skyped interviews with student sections in Holland and the U.S.

As the year draws to a close, a year we were certain we would see Albert released- we pray for many things- world peace, homes for the dispossessed everywhere and freedom from fear, racism and hatred at home and abroad and finally, finally, finally.... freedom for Albert Woodfox and the too many political and economic prisoners held in gulags around the country.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Amnesty Intl. USA's "Write for Rights" campaign focuses on Albert Woodfox, calling for his immediate release

 (Amnesty International artwork)

Today, in conjunction with the "Write for Rights" campaign, Amnesty International USA issued an email action alert focusing on Albert Woodfox, where Amnesty reiterated the organization's call for Albert's immediate release.

Along with urging supporters to add their name to Amnesty's online petition to Louisiana Attorney General James Caldwell, Amnesty is also asking people to write letters to both AG Caldwell and to Albert, with a sample letter and other information available here.

On November 7, a protest march in support of Albert was held in London, England. The following week, following the US Fifth Circuit Court's ruling that Albert can face a third trial, both Amnesty USA and UK issued responses.

Featured below and reprinted in full, is today's email alert sent out by Amnesty USA Senior Campaigner Jasmine Heiss:

There is no other way to describe what's happening to Albert Woodfox - he is trapped in a nightmare.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A3 Newsletter: Court Rules Albert Woodfox Can Be Retried a Third Time

MEDIA COVERAGE:  Esquire: "The Absurdity of Retrial"  II  Washington Post  II  NY Times  II  The Independent (UK)  II  The Guardian (UK)  II  Amnesty Intl. UK  II  Amnesty Intl. USA  II  The Advocate  II  teleSUR English  II  Boston Globe / AP  II  VICE  II  Mother Jones  II  Brennan Center: Will Justice Kennedy Save Albert Woodfox?

PHOTO:  A 'cardboard cutout' of Albert Woodfox is displayed in downtown London, England during a November 7 protest march organized by Amnesty International UK. If you have not yet done so, please take action by joining Amnesty's call to "Free Albert Woodfox!"

US 5th Circuit Court Reverses Judge Brady in Bitterly Divided 2-1 Decision

Like Albert, many of you probably awoke to the news that yesterday evening a bitterly divided panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Judge Brady's June 8th unconditional Writ ordering his release and barring a retrial.

Albert's conviction will remain overturned, but there is no longer any doubt that he will be retried a third time by the State of Louisiana, only miles from the solitary cell where he's spent the bulk of his life.

In a stunning dissent, printed in its entirety below, Judge James Dennis passionately argued against the majority for Albert's freedom--sharing both Judge Brady's view of the exceptional injustice represented by this case and his "lack of confidence in the State to provide a fair third trial."

Monday, September 21, 2015

Reportback on Albert Woodfox's Hearing Today in Louisiana State Court, w/ Amnesty International USA Statement

MEDIA COVERAGE:  NOLA Times-Picayune Sept. 21 and Sept. 22 (also before the hearing)  II  ABA Journal  II  Common Dreams  II  KSL / AP  II  ABC / AP  II  Truthout on Herman's House

A3 Newsletter: Judge Rules for DNA Testing and Fingerprint Analysis but Against the Change of Venue and Dismissing the Case

This morning in St. Francisville Judge Carmichael of West Feliciana Parish's 20th Judicial District Court made the first determinations about what the legal landscape will look like if Judge Brady's "unconditional Writ" is overturned and Albert faces a third trial.  

The good news is that the judge agreed to require a unanimous jury decision, to allow DNA testing of all evidence still in the State's possession that may contain adequate sample sizes for modern analysis, and to give Albert's defense team access to any fingerprint files the State possesses from Angola at the time of the murder.  He also agreed to give Albert's defense team a chance to privately review (under seal) letters from the latest grand jury foreperson expressing "serious misgivings" about the "process" in order to assess whether or not the most recent indictment itself, hastily obtained in February of 2015 before the federal appeals process had fully played out, may have once again been improperly obtained. 

Overall though, it was not a good day for Albert, or for justice, in St. Francisville.  In a curt, 45 minute hearing (originally scheduled for two full days) the judge rejected a solid majority of Albert's 16 pre-trial motions designed to create a fair evidentiary and procedural playing field for any potential retrial.  Albert's motion to quash, change the venue, and run the print evidence through the FBI's expanded AFIS database were all quite unceremoniously denied.  Critically, so were Albert's requests to exclude all the now impeached, debunked, and discredited testimony presented at previous trials by Hezekiah Brown and the State's other key witnesses.  Though Albert will be allowed to present impeachment evidence to a new jury, the jurors will never able to see how these now deceased witnesses respond and react on the stand when confronted with their own lies, obfuscations, and omissions from previous testimony.  

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A3 Newsletter: Albert Woodfox Takes First Steps Towards Retrial in State Court on Sept. 21 in St. Francisville, LA

A3 Newsletter: A Third Chance for Justice in State Court - The Critical Importance of Setting the Right Evidentiary and Procedural Scene for a Fair Retrial

Though it is an incredibly unusual, and often confusing situation, the legal reality is that Albert is fighting for permanent, unconditional release concurrently on two separate legal tracks - one in federal and the other in state court.  As we all wait to hear whether the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will uphold federal Judge Brady's June 8th "unconditional Writ," a third attempt to prosecute Albert in state court for the crime he continues to maintain he's innocent of is already, simultaneously, underway.

Next Monday, September 21st at 9:30am at the Courthouse in St. Francisville, the state court track will take a huge leap forward as Judge Carmichael of West Feliciana Parish's 20th Judicial District Court decides what a new playing field will look like after each side presents what they believe to be the key ingredients needed to ensure a just potential third trial.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Reportback on Albert Woodfox's Sept. 2 Oral Arguments at US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

IN THE NEWS:  NOLA Times Picayune (1, 2) II  The Advocate  II  Shreveport Times  II  ABC / AP  II  WRAL / AP   II  Toronto Sun / Reuters  II  Second Reuters article

(PHOTO: A3 supporters outside of the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans this morning at Albert Woodfox's oral arguments. Big Thanks to everyone that made it out!!)

This morning, Amnesty International USA released the following statement, reprinted in full.

Please check back here for more updates later in the day. See also our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Amnesty International USA Statement on Ongoing Incarceration of Albert Woodfox

Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans heard oral argument in Albert Woodfox vs. Burl Cain. A three-judge panel will decide whether Louisiana prisoner Albert Woodfox should be granted unconditional release or face a third trial after spending more than four decades in solitary confinement. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A3 Newsletter: Join Us in New Orleans on Sept. 2nd for Albert Woodfox's Appeal Hearing

(PHOTO: A3 supporters gathered outside the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans at one of Albert's previous hearings, on Jan. 7, 2014.)

After a summer of back and forth briefing on paper, on Wednesday morning, September 2nd, in the East Courtroom a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans will hear oral arguments on whether Federal Judge James Brady's June 8th "unconditional writ" officially overturning Albert's conviction, ordering his release, and barring a retrial (a ruling he presented as "the only just remedy") will stand.

As usual, the public is welcome to attend.  Though we don't know for sure what time our case will be heard, doors open at 8am and court convenes at 8:30am. Arguments are expected to be short (usually each side only gets about 45 minutes) and for those unable to attend audio recordings are posted on the 5th's website by close of business that same day.

A decision from that Court is expected sometime later this fall.  If Judge Brady's ruling is upheld, Albert will be released and a retrial banned.  If reversed, the Fifth Circuit does not have the power to reinstate Albert's overturned conviction, but can put limits on the terms of Judge Brady's Writ and release order.