[Ppnews] Angola 3 Update

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Sun Dec 14 13:50:02 EST 2008

14 December 2008

Action Alert  

International Coalition to Free the Angola 3

Hello all,

Last night I returned from two days of Angola visits and am happy to  
report that Herman and Albert look stronger and more adjusted to their  
new oppressive dungeon conditions than when we last saw them.  They  
both seem in good spirits and good health and remain optimistic about  
the appeal, even with the recent bail news.

5th Circuit Denies Bail, But Expedites Appeal Lawyers: Disappointed  
with Ruling, But Optimistic the Fifth Circuit Will Affirm Judge  
Brady's Decision and Release Woodfox

On Friday evening the 5th circuit denied bail, but also expedited the  
appeal.  Although not what we hoped for, the attorneys and Herman and  
Albert themselves remind us that bail was always a longshot, and even  
though we lost, the ruling was not totally in the State's favor.

The 3-judge panel says that so far they are not convinced the State  
will win their appeal and warns the State that if they lose, they  
should be prepared to retry Albert expeditiously.

The habeas hearing process can take up to a year and a half, and  
normally we would have had to file a request to expedite it--but the  
5th circuit was kind enough to do that for us in their ruling which  
means now we will have hearings in March and know one way or the other  
whether Judge Brady's decision will stand by April or May.  An  
expedited timeline in itself is very encouraging news.

Albert's lawyers are disappointed that he will not be let out on bail,  
yet remain optimistic for the March hearings.  "Two federal judges  
have already looked at this case --Judge Noland and Judge Brady--and  
each concluded that Woodfox was wrongfully convicted.  Their analysis  
is strong, both legally and factually, and I am confident that the  
Fifth Circuit will affirm the District Court's decision that Woodfox  
is entitled to a new trial," said Chris Aberle.

Attorney Nick Trenticosta points to the sentence in the ruling  
stating: "We are
not now convinced that the State has established a likelihood of  
success on the
merits."  Trenticosta said, "The court's opinion is actually very  
encouraging for Mr. Woodfox. The court has both expedited the state's  
appeal and indicated that, as of now, it finds the appeal unpersuasive."

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