[Ppnews] Angola 3 - Albert Woodfox Conviction is Overturned!!

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Sep 26 10:44:33 EDT 2008


Good evening everyone,

  I am thrilled to report that earlier today Judge Brady issued the long
  anticipated final judgment in Albert's case (attached), officially
  overturning his conviction after 36 years in solitary confinement!

  Attorney General Buddy Caldwell immediately told AP reporters that the
  State intends to appeal and retry if necessary saying:  "We respectfully but
  vehemently disagree with the judge's ruling ...If this ruling is
   upheld, we will with no question retry Albert Woodfox. We will take it
  as high as we need to go."

  But no matter how hard the State fights back, this is a huge
  victory--Albert is no longer convicted of the murder of Brent Miller,
  and there is at least a possibility he could be released on bail in
  the near future.  A big congrats to the attorneys and everyone who has
  refused to give up on the idea that Herman and Albert will one day be
  free.

Albert's attorneys and the Chair of the Louisiana House Judiciary
Committee, Representative Cedric Richmond, will hold a joint press
conference call to discuss the ruling tomorrow at 11amC/12amE.  The
press release and call-in numbers are below and
  everyone is welcome to tune in if they'd like.  If you have contacts
  in the media who may want to cover the story, please forward the
  release to them as well.  The AP story has already been picked up by
  hundreds of outlets around the world.

   HOOORAY!  YAHOO!! YIPEEE!!!

  peace,

  --
   Tory Pegram
  Campaign Coordinator
  International Coalition to Free the Angola 3
  odsllc at gmail.com
  504.338.2631
  www.angola3.org


  COALITION TO FREE THE ANGOLA THREE

   FOR IMMEDIATE 
RELEASE                                 CONTACT: Emma Mackinnon

  Thursday, September 25, 2008
  202.302.6920/emma at fenton.com


   *** Press Call FRIDAY at 11 AM Central ­ Dial 1-800-895-1085, Conf. ID
  'ANGOLA' ***

  Conviction Overturned After 36 Years in Solitary For "Angola 3" Member
   Albert Woodfox

  Federal Judge Orders the State: Must Either Retry or Dismiss Charges
  Against "Angola 3" Member

   Lawyers: Charges Should be Dismissed Immediately; Otherwise, Woodfox
  Should be Released on Bail

  In response to a federal judge's decision overturning the conviction
   of Albert Woodfox, one of the two "Angola 3" members who remain in
   prison, lawyers for the men called on the State Attorney General's
  office to drop any further charges and release the men immediately.
   If the state intends to re-try Woodfox, they said, he should be
  released on bail until the time of trial.  They argued the man, now 61
  and in poor health, has spent long enough imprisoned on a wrongful
  conviction and that continuing to hold him would be unthinkable.  They
  plan a press conference call for tomorrow, Friday, at 11 AM CDT; to
  join, reporters can dial 1-800-895-1085 and provide conference ID
  "Angola."

   Woodfox and fellow inmate Herman Wallace have been imprisoned since
  1972 for the murder of prison guard Brent Miller.  They spent 36 years
  of that time in solitary confinement.  The federal judge's ruling
   acknowledged that Woodfox has been wrongfully imprisoned.  His
  conviction rested on the testimony of a fellow prisoner, a convicted
  serial rapist who was promised and received the warden's help
  obtaining a pardon in exchange for testifying against Herman and
  Albert.  The deal was not disclosed at trial; the witness was pardoned
  and freed later. An additional witness, who said he had seen Albert in
  the area of the crime, was a schizophrenic who was on heavy doses of
  psychotropic medications at the time of the murder, which also was not
   disclosed. No physical evidence ties Woodfox or Wallace to the crime.

  "Both the magistrate judge and the district court judge have now found
   that Woodfox's conviction was invalid and had to be reversed.  Woodfox
  has demonstrated the deep flaws in the state's investigation and
  prosecution of the case against him, and has presented evidence of his
  innocence.  If the State of Louisiana appeals, it will bear the burden
  of showing the court of appeals that both of the two judges were
  incorrect.  As the facts and the law are so clearly on the side of Mr.
   Woodfox, we are confident that the State cannot carry that burden. No
  further legal delay should deprive Albert of even one more day of his
   life," said Chris Aberle, one of Woodfox's lawyers.

   "The state has already stolen nearly four decades of Albert Woodfox's
  life.  The injustice in this case is unfathomable. How can Louisiana
  continue to imprison a 61 year old man after a federal judge has ruled
  that he shouldn't have been convicted in the first place?  Albert must
   be released," said Nick Trenticosta, co-counsel in the case.

  The third member of the Angola 3, Robert King, was released in 2001
  after a judge overturned his conviction.  King had spent 29 years in
  solitary confinement for a separate crime.

  For a copy of the ruling or to speak with lawyers in the case, call
   Emma Mackinnon at 202-302-6920 or email emma at fenton.com.  For Friday's
  11 AM CDT call, dial 1-800-895-1085 and provide conference ID
  "Angola"; please RSVP for the call by emailing emma at fenton.com.



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