Tuesday, January 21, 2014

"The Year of Justice and Freedom?" A Message to Supporters from Albert Woodfox

(Page one of Albert's letter to supporters)

I would like to take this time to express my profound gratitude to all the wonderful friends, supporters and comrades around the world for your unbelievable solidarity and support!

I'm not sure what the New Year means to you. For me, it's the realization that another year of mental and emotional torture has started! I constantly ask myself, is this the year of justice and freedom? Or just another year of the same?

Is this the year that I lose my battle against constant attacks of claustrophobia, mental and emotional pain and suffering?  Is the year that I run out of creative ways that allow me to ignore time and space, and the weight of the world crushes me, instead of making me stronger?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Moral Outrage: Albert Woodfox's 41 Years in Solitary Confinement, Despite Three Overturned Convictions --An interview with Rev. Dr. Patricia Bates

(PHOTO: On behalf of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, Rev. Dr. Patricia Bates speaks in support of Albert Woodfox at the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge on October 21, 2013.)

A Moral Outrage: Albert Woodfox's 41 Years in Solitary Confinement, Despite Three Overturned Convictions 
--An interview with Rev. Dr. Patricia Teel Bates

By Angola 3 News

This past Fall, Herman Wallace of the Angola 3 made news headlines around the world when his conviction was overturned and he was dramatically released from prison after 41 years in solitary confinement. At the time of his release on October 1, 2013 he had been fighting terminal liver cancer for several months. Three days later, on Oct. 4, Herman was surrounded by loved ones as he passed on at a friend's house in New Orleans, Louisiana.

As reported by Democracy Now, one of the final things that Herman said was, "I am free. I am free." Twelve years previously in 2001,  after 29 years in solitary confinement, Robert H. King was the first of the Angola 3 to be released. Today, Albert Woodfox remains the sole Angola 3 member still in prison.  Currently housed in solitary confinement and forced to endure routine body cavity searches at David Wade Correctional Center in Homer, LA, Albert's conviction has now been overturned three times.

On Oct. 15, Amnesty International declared: "Herman died a free man. Let's help Albert live as one." Amnesty's call to action quoted a message from Herman released during his final few weeks: "I want the world to know that I am an innocent man and that Albert Woodfox is innocent as well...The state may have stolen my life, but my spirit will continue to struggle along with Albert and the many comrades that have joined us along the way here in the belly of the beast."

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Albert Woodfox's Hour in the 5th: A reportback on Albert's January 7 oral arguments

MEDIA:  Lauren McGaughy, Times-Picayune  II  Daily Journal / Associated Press  II  UPI

VIEW / DOWNLOAD:  A3 info flyer for Jan. 7  II  Listen to audio from the oral arguments  II  Rev. Patricia Bates / NRCAT statement

(PHOTO: A3 supporters at the Court on Jan. 7)

For those who were unable to attend, Albert's oral argument in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, defending Judge Brady's decision to overturn his conviction for a third time, is now complete (click here to listen).  As expected, the proceedings were brief and rather mystifying.  It was clear that most of the judges had already spent a great deal of time reviewing and considering the case, and were just tying up a few arcane legal loose ends.

Monday, January 6, 2014

On the eve of Albert Woodfox's 5th Circuit oral arguments, Amnesty International demands his immediate release

MEDIA COVERAGE:  Lauren McGaughy, Times-Picayune  II  The Republic / Associated Press

After decades of appeals and counter-appeals, delays and diversions, the 5th Circuit Court will review Judge Brady's decision to overturn Albert's conviction tomorrow. 

Years and years of efforts to bring attention to this case and to see that justice is finally done will culminate in the outcome of this important hearing.