[Ppnews] Angola - Herman Wallace Update
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Jul 24 14:00:25 EDT 2006
FREEDOM VIGIL FOR THE ANGOLA 3
Supporters to hold vigil for Herman Wallace's hearing.
COME TO ANGOLA LOUISIANA!
Political prisoner/POW supporters, prison
abolitionist, and comrades from all over, this is
a call to organize in your community to bring
people to Angola prison in August for former
Black Panther Herman Wallaces hearing. Load up
your buses, vans, trains and bikes to get people here for this historic event !
This vigil is appropriate and sends a powerful
statement to those who hold power on the other
side of the prison walls. They cannot bury our
comrades, friends, families and citizens behind
concrete and barbed wire. The Louisiana State
Penitentiary and Burl Cain do NOT want the
exposure to their prisons. Hermans case, just as
Robert Wilkersons did, exposes the depths the state will go to hide the truth.
The A3 want poeple to come and stand in
solidarity while Herman's case hangs in the balance.
The BBC in a recent investigative news program
broadcast for 25 million viewers said about the
Angola 3 case:
there is powerful evidence that
they were framed
despite the compel ling
evidence of a terrible miscarriage of justice,
Woodfox and Wallace remain locked up
Come and Join us deep in Louisiana on the Angola
prison site which was built from old slave
plantations. Remember, as many prisoners have
said its the same game, different name
prisons ARE modern day versions of slave plantations for many.
Common Ground Relief and other community groups
will be sending buses from New Orleans.
Other rides will be leaving from many points in
the U.S. including: Austin, Lawrence, Oakland,
New York City, Chicago, Tucson, Houston, Dallas, Philadelphia and more !!
We hope to see you there!!
Free the Angola 3!!
Free ALL political prisoners !!
.DATE: Friday, August 15th 2006
LOCATION* Louisiana State Penitentiary
*Location may change due to a request for change
of venue to Baton Rouge. Please make contact to
reaffirm the location and time of vigil.
At the moment, the hearing is scheduled to be
held inside Angola prison. It is not yet known
how many members of the public will be allowed
inside or what the procedures will be for gaining admission.
The vigil is being held to:
- Support Herman Wallace and show the prison
officials and the courts that the public demands
justice for the A3, and all political prisoners.
-Expose the racism and corruption that goes on
behind the walls of the Louisiana State Penitentiary.
- Demand that the governor and legislators of
Louisiana form an investigation and audit of Louisiana State Penitentiary.
-Erin Howley 512.608.3218
hilo (at) riseup.net
-Ann Harkness 512.297.1049
ann (at) riseup.net
-Robert King Wilkerson 504.261.3454
-Shana Griffin ambakeysha (at) yahoo.com
-Nik Bose (Common Ground) 631-365-2139.
nik.bose (at) gmail.com
-Israel (CG) 504.368.6897
commongroundrelief (at) gmail.com
WHAT IS THE EVIDENTARY HEARING ABOUT?
Message from Scott Fleming their longtime lawyer
about the hearing:
The state court in Baton Rouge has scheduled an
evidentiary hearing for former Black Panther
Herman Wallace August 15-17 (though it may not take three days).
The court will consider the well-established
evidence that Hezekiah Brown, the only purported
eyewitness to the murder Wallace was convicted
of, was provided a pardon, a transfer to minimum
security, and a carton-per-week cigarette ration
in exchange for his false testimony.
If the court finds that Brown received these
favors, that they were not disclosed to the
defense or the jury, and that the state's
suppression of them could have contributed to
Wallace's conviction, then Wallace's conviction
will be overturned. Given the overwhelming
evidence that Wallace and his co-defendant,
Albert Woodfox, are innocent, supporters are optimistic of a positive outcome.
In addition, the Angola 3 civil rights suit,
which alleges that their 34+ years as well as
Robert King Wilkersons 29 years in solitary
confinement is a violation of the right to due
process and amounts to cruel and unusual
punishment. The suit, which the Supreme Court of
the United States has ruled has merit to proceed,
is moving forward in federal court and could go
to trial in the fall of this year.
MORE FACTS ABOUT THE ANGOLA 3 CASE
Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace have spent the
past 34 years in solitary confinement at the
Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. They are
serving sentences of life without parole as a
result of wrongful convictions for the 1972
murder of a prison guard. Robert Wilkerson, the
third member of the Angola 3, proved his
innocence and was released in 2001, after
spending 29 years in solitary confinement.
Woodfox and Wallace were activist prisoners who
risked their lives by standing up against racism,
prison rape, and violence at Angola, Louisianas
slave plantation-turned-prison farm. In 1972, the
prison was racially segregated (80 percent of the
prisoners were and still are
African-American), had an all-white staff, and
was known for terrible brutality. Between 1972
and 1975, 40 Angola prisoners were stabbed to
death and 350 more were seriously injured in an epidemic of violence.
Woodfox and Wallace, along with many other
prisoners, responded to these conditions by
organizing themselves, establishing political
education programs among prisoners, and
organizing civil disobedience such as work
stoppages and dining hall strikes. Woodfox and
Wallace founded a chapter of the Black Panther Party inside the prison.
When a prison guard was found stabbed to death
in 1972, Woodfox and Wallace were immediately
placed in solitary confinement and charged with
the murder. The prison administration unleashed a
reign of terror on the black prisoner population,
including beatings, the forced shaving of Afro
haircuts, and mass solitary confinement.
The state prosecuted Woodfox and Wallace by
using the testimony of prison snitches, a
notoriously unreliable form of evidence. At their
separate trials, different snitches telling
different stories testified against the two
men. Since the trials, new evidence has emerged
that these witnesses were coerced or bribed with
pardons, early releases, and free cigarette rations.
Three of the states witnesses have now
admitted that they lied under oath and have
recanted their testimony against Woodfox and
Wallace. Others have come forward to identify the
prisoner now dead who actually committed the
murder. The courts in Louisiana have yet to rule on this evidence.
While they wait for the courts to grant them
the justice for which they have waited 34 years,
Woodfox and Wallace continue to spend at least 23
hours of every day alone in 6-by-9 foot cells.
The un-air-conditioned concrete block cells are
excruciatingly hot during the summer months. The
ACLU has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit
alleging that these conditions are cruel and unusual punishment.
Wallace has been wrongfully held in isolation
for 34 years because of his involvement with the
Black Panther Party at Angola Penitentiary. The
Louisiana Court of Appeals ordered the
evidentiary hearing into Wallaces claim that the
state failed to disclose to him that prison
officials paid the chief prosecution witness at
his 1974 trial with cartons of cigarettes and a
pardon of his life sentence for testifying against Wallace.
For more information, visit:
The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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