[Ppnews] Angola 3 - 36 Years of Solitude

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Mar 3 10:28:27 EST 2009


<http://www.motherjones.com/>
Mother Jones

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2009/03/36-years-solitude


<http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2009/03/36-years-solitude>36 
Years of Solitude

By 
<http://www.motherjones.com/authors/james-ridgeway>James 
Ridgeway | Mon March 2, 2009 5:30 PM PST

What's left of Albert Woodfox's life now lies in 
the hands of a 
<http://www.lb5.uscourts.gov/History/JMWBldg/jmwbldg.pdf>federal 
appeals court in New Orleans. By the time the 
court hears his 
<http://www.angola3.org/thecase.aspx>case on 
Tuesday, the 62-year-old will have spent 36 
years, 2 months, and 24 days in a 6-by-9-foot 
cell at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in 
Angola. An 18,000-acre complex that still 
resembles the slave plantation it once was, the 
notorious prison, immortalized in the film Dead 
Man Walking, has long been considered one of the 
most brutal in America, a place where rape, 
abuse, and violence have been commonplace. With 
the exception of a few brief months last year, 
Woodfox has served nearly all of his time there 
in solitary confinement, out of contact with 
other prisoners, and locked in his cell 23 hours 
a day. By most estimates, he and his codefendant, 
Herman Wallace, have spent more time in solitary 
than any other inmates in US history.

Woodfox and Wallace are members of a triad known 
as the "Angola 3"­three prisoners who spent 
decades in solitary confinement after being 
accused of prison murders and convicted on 
questionable evidence. Before they were isolated 
from other inmates, the trio, which included a 
prisoner named Robert King, had organized against 
conditions in what was considered "the bloodiest 
prison in America." Their supporters believe that 
their activism, along with their ties to the 
Black Panther Party, motivated prison officials to scapegoat the inmates.*

Over the years, human rights activists worldwide 
have rallied around the Angola 3, pointing to 
them as victims of a flawed and corrupt justice 
system. Though King managed to win his release in 
2001, after his conviction was overturned, 
Woodfox and Wallace haven't been so lucky. 
Amnesty International has called their continued 
isolation "cruel, inhuman, and degrading," 
charging that their treatment has "breached 
international treaties which the USA has 
ratified, including the International Covenant on 
Civil and Political Rights and the Convention 
against Torture." Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), 
chair of the House Judiciary Committee, has taken 
a keen interest in the case and traveled to 
Angola last spring to visit with Woodfox and 
Wallace. "This is the only place in North America 
that people have been incarcerated like this for 
36 years," he told Mother Jones.

Meanwhile, the prevailing powers in Louisiana, 
from Angola's warden to the state's attorney 
general, are bent on keeping Woodfox and Wallace 
right where they are. The state's Republican 
governor, Bobby Jindal, has thus far steered 
clear of the controversial case. Conyers, though, 
who has spoken with Jindal about Woodfox and 
Wallace, says the governor seemed "open-minded."

For his part, Conyers is optimistic that 
Woodfox's fortunes, at least, could soon change. 
On Tuesday, Nick Trenticosta, who is one of 
Woodfox's lawyers, will have 20 minutes to 
convince the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to 
uphold the decision of a district court judge in 
Baton Rouge, who last July overturned Woodfox's 
conviction for the 1972 murder of an Angola 
prison guard. The murder, for which Wallace was 
also charged, occurred while Woodfox was already 
serving a sentence for armed robbery. 
Trenticosta, a longtime Louisiana death penalty 
attorney who heads the New Orleans-based Center 
for Equal Justice, will argue that his client 
received inadequate representation from his 
court-appointed attorneys when he was retried in 
1998, as well as during his original trial in 
1973. Better lawyers, he'll argue, would have 
shown that Woodfox's conviction was quite 
literally bought by the state, which based its 
case on jailhouse informants who were rewarded 
for their testimony. The primary eyewitness to 
the murder received special privileges and the 
promise of a pardon. One of the corroborating 
witnesses was legally blind, while another was on 
the anti-psychotic drug Thorazine; both were subsequently granted furloughs.

Woodfox's lawyers will also make the case that 
the state failed to provide his previous defense 
attorneys with crucial information about the 
witnesses­ensuring that they were unable to 
cross-examine them effectively­and lost physical 
evidence, which was inconclusive at best, and 
possibly favorable to the defendant. (A 
spokeswoman for the Louisiana State Penitentiary 
said the prison, as a matter of policy, would not comment on an ongoing case.)

Depending on how the appeals court decides, 
Woodfox may get a chance at another trial, where 
this time he'll be represented by a team of 
highly skilled lawyers. If given that 
opportunity, Trenticosta told Mother Jones in a 
recent interview, he and his colleagues will go 
beyond just refuting the evidence that led to 
their client's conviction. They intend to reveal 
the identities of the real murderers of prison 
guard Brent Miller, who, Trenticosta says, are 
now dead. He says his team has "numerous 
witnesses who saw" the murder and others "who 
have good information." (Asked for the names of 
the witnesses and others with specific knowledge 
of the murder, Trenticosta said he would reveal 
their identities only if there is another trial.) 
Of Woodfox and Wallace, Trenticosta says, "They 
were targeted. They were set up." The lawyer 
believes the state of Louisiana is determined to 
prevent Woodfox from being retried in order to "cover up a coverup."

The state's case against overturning Woodfox's 
conviction will be argued by 
<http://www.law.olemiss.edu/faculty/duncan_kyle-vitae.html>Kyle 
Duncan, a University of Mississippi law school 
professor who is an admirer of the jurisprudence 
of Supreme Court Justice 
<http://www.law.utah.edu/_webfiles/ULRarticles/149/149.pdf>Antonin 
Scalia. He will likely take the usual position in 
these types of cases, arguing that Woodfox's 
previous defense attorneys, despite what 
Trenticosta might say, had every opportunity to 
cross-examine the witnesses, so no new trial is 
warranted. But Duncan is little more than a 
mouthpiece; the force behind the state's appeal 
is Louisiana attorney general James "Buddy" 
Caldwell Jr. The former prosecutor, who 
moonlights as an Elvis impersonator, is a 
politically ambitious Democrat. Since his 
election in 2007, Caldwell has fought efforts by 
Woodfox and Wallace to overturn their 
convictions. After Woodfox's conviction was 
overturned last year, 
<http://a.abcnews.com/Blotter/Story?id=5894181&page=1>Caldwell 
declared, "We will appeal this decision to the 
<http://www.thenation.com/doc/20040503/bass>5th 
Circuit. If the ruling is upheld there I will not 
stop and we will take this case as high as we 
have to. I will retry this case myself
I oppose 
letting him out with every fiber of my being 
because this is a very dangerous man."

Caldwell shares this position with Angola's 
warden, Burl Cain, a devout Baptist who has a 
reputation for proselytizing to the inmates under 
his watch. Cain, who has likened the Black 
Panthers to the KKK, is adamant that the aging 
Woodfox is and always will be a menace to society 
by virtue of his political beliefs. He has said 
that Woodfox is "locked in time with that Black 
Panther revolutionary actions they were doing way 
back when
And from that, there's been no rehabilitation."

After a three-judge appelate panel hears 
arguments on March 3, it will be at least six 
weeks, and possibly many months, before it rules 
on the appeal. If it concurs with the district 
court's decision, Woodfox will be retried or 
released. If it overrules the lower court, his 
conviction will remain in place, and his defense 
team will have to go back to the drawing board.

Albert Woodfox's journey to the East Courtroom of 
the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals began 40 years 
ago, when he was convicted of armed robbery at 
age 21 and sentenced to 50 years of hard labor. 
After being transferred from New Orleans to 
Angola in 1971, Woodfox met Herman Wallace and Robert King.

In the early 1970s, Angola­which spans an area 
the size of Manhattan and is 30 miles from the 
nearest town­was a lawless, dangerous hellhole. 
The all-white corrections officers, who were 
called "freemen," lived with their families in 
their own community on the prison grounds, with 
inmate-servants they called "house boys." There 
were just 300 freemen to control an inmate 
population of more than 3,000­but they were 
backed by hundreds of so-called "trustees," 
supposedly trustworthy convict guards, who were 
known to abuse other prisoners. In his 
just-published autobiography, From the Bottom of 
the Heap, Robert King, who was released in 2001 
after proving that he'd been wrongfully convicted 
of the murder of a fellow Angola inmate, says 
prison guards stripped prisoners, shaved their 
heads, and made them run a gauntlet of bats and 
clubs; incoming prisoners, known as "fresh 
fishes," were sold as sex slaves. According to 
<http://www.corrections.state.la.us/lsp/history.htm>records 
kept by the prison's famous newspaper, The 
Angolite, there were 82 stabbings in 1971, 52 in 
1972, and 137 in 1973. (The paper's longtime 
editor, Wilbert Rideau, won the prestigious 
George Polk Award for his journalism while still in prison.)

In his book, King describes the tinderbox 
atmosphere at Angola when he arrived in 1971. 
That August, prisoners had organized a hunger 
strike to demand an end to the inmate-guard 
system, sexual enslavement, racial segregation, 
and 16-hour workdays. King sensed a mood of 
defiance among the prisoners and learned that 
Wallace and Woodfox were "teaching unity amongst 
the inmates, establishing the only recognized 
prison chapter of the Black Panther party in the 
nation." He joined Wallace and Woodfox in 
organizing the prison population to advocate for better living conditions.

It was in this volatile environment that Brent 
Miller, a 23-year-old corrections officer born 
and raised in Angola's staff community, was 
stabbed to death in a prison dormitory on the 
morning of April 17, 1972. About 200 
prisoners­every one of them black­were rounded up 
and interrogated. Billy Wayne Sinclair, a white 
inmate who was on Angola's death row at the time 
(he was eventually freed), 
<http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=96199165>later 
told NPR: "You heard hollering and screaming and 
the bodies being slammed against the walls. 
Upstairs you could smell tear-gas bombs
We heard 
the beatings that were going on for weeks after 
that." Two days after the murder, an elderly 
prisoner named Hezekiah Brown came forward, 
reportedly telling investigators that he had 
witnessed the stabbing being carried out by 
Woodfox and Wallace, along with two other 
inmates. Based on his statements, the local 
sheriff filed charges against the men he had named.

Brown was the state's key witness against Woodfox 
in his 1973 trial. A magistrate judge who 
reviewed Woodfox's case wrote last summer that 
Brown's testimony was "so critical to [the 
prosecution's] case that without it there would 
probably be no case." After a federal court 
overturned Woodfox's conviction, he was given 
another trial in 1998, where Brown's account 
again figured heavily. At that point, Brown had 
been dead for two years, but his 
testimony­without defense objection­was read into 
the record. In his 1973 testimony, Brown admitted 
that he had at first said he was not in the 
dormitory when the murder happened, but then 
decided to tell "the truth." According to Brown, 
the truth was that on the morning of the murder 
Miller stopped by his bed for coffee, as he often 
did, and while he was sitting on Brown's bed, the 
four men came into the dorm and began stabbing 
him. (NPR, which did a three-part series on the 
case last year, interviewed a former Angola 
inmate who said he was with Woodfox in the prison 
mess at the time of the murder.)

According to evidence presented at Woodfox's 1998 
trial, Brown was rewarded for his testimony in 
numerous ways: He was moved to a minimum-security 
area, where he lived in a house, luxurious by 
prison standards, and was provided with a carton 
of cigarettes a week. And a month after the 1973 
trial, then-warden Murray Henderson began writing 
letters to state officials seeking a pardon for 
Brown, which cited his testimony against Miller's 
alleged murderers. During Woodfox's 1998 retrial, 
Henderson acknowledged that he promised Brown a 
pardon in exchange for his help "cracking the 
case." It took years, but Brown, a serial rapist 
serving life without parole, was released in 1986.

A second key witness was an inmate named Paul 
Fobb, who said he saw Woodfox leaving the 
dormitory after the murder. Fobb, who was legally 
blind, was also dead in 1998, and his earlier 
testimony, like Brown's, was read into the record 
without objection by Woodfox's lawyers. Fobb, who 
had been convicted of multiple rapes, was granted 
a medical furlough shortly after testifying, and left Angola.

A third prosecution witness, Joseph Richey, 
claimed that he saw Woodfox and others exiting 
the dorm, and on going inside saw Miller's body. 
At first he said he thought the inmates were 
going for help, but after a meeting at the 
attorney general's office, Richey changed his 
statement. He later confirmed being on Thorazine 
at the time of his testimony, and said he had 
told the attorney general's office as much. This 
information was not given to Woodfox's defense 
lawyers in either trial, nor were the juries made 
aware. Richey was subsequently transferred from 
Angola to a minimum-security state police 
barracks, and went on to work as a butler at the 
Louisiana governor's mansion. He was even 
provided the use of state police cars. While 
supposedly under the watch of the state police, Richey robbed three banks.

Yet another supposed witness, Chester Jackson, 
never testified at Woodfox's 1973 trial. Yet in 
1998, his statements to investigators were 
mentioned by prison officials testifying for the 
prosecution, with only belated objections by the 
defense that this was hearsay evidence.

Then there was the physical evidence: a homemade 
knife that couldn't be linked to any of the 
accused; a bloody fingerprint that likewise 
matched none of the men Brown had implicated; and 
flecks of human blood on Woodfox's shirt (which 
he denies he was wearing that day). The 
bloodstained shirt was lost before the 1998 
trial­and before it could be tested for DNA.

In 1973, Woodfox was convicted of Miller's murder 
in a matter of hours by an all-white jury. 
Wallace was convicted just as quickly in a 
separate trial. It took more than two decades of 
appeals, but Woodfox finally won a new trial on 
the basis of "ineffective assistance of 
counsel"­poor lawyering. Yet the 1998 trial not 
only failed to reveal earlier miscarriages of 
justice, but also introduced one of its own: One 
member of the grand jury that reindicted Woodfox 
was Anne Butler, ex-wife of former Angola warden 
Murray Henderson, who had led the investigation 
of the murder in 1973. She was kept on the jury 
even after revealing her identity to the district 
attorney, and despite the fact that she had 
written about Miller's murder­and her belief that 
Woodfox and Wallace were guilty­in the 1992 book 
she coauthored with Henderson, Dying to Tell, 
which she reportedly passed around for other jurors to read.

Woodfox began working to secure himself a third 
trial almost immediately after his second. But a 
lifeline came to him via another member of the 
Angola 3, Robert King. Convicted of a separate 
prison murder and placed in solitary for decades, 
King ultimately won his release with the help of 
Chris Aberle, a former 5th Circuit staff attorney 
who had been assigned to represent him in his 
appeal. King was convinced that, like himself, 
Woodfox and Wallace were "victims of frame-up and 
racism," he said in a recent interview. He asked 
Aberle to help them as well, and the lawyer 
agreed. In 2006, Aberle filed a habeas corpus 
petition on Woodfox's behalf with the Federal 
District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana.

With Aberle and a team of new lawyers fighting 
for them, King speaking out on their behalf, and 
a growing support movement, it looked as if 2008 
would be a turning point for Woodfox and Wallace. 
In March, they were 
<http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/17041416.html?showAll=y&c=y>moved 
for the first time in 35 years from solitary to a 
maximum-security dormitory with other prisoners. 
The move followed Rep. John Conyers' visit to 
Angola and was spurred by a civil lawsuit 
initiated by the ACLU and carried forward under 
the leadership of noted death penalty attorney 
George Kendall, who argued that the Angola 3's 
decades-long confinement in solitary violated the 
constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment. (The case is ongoing.)

Then, in June 2008, a federal magistrate judge 
named Christine Noland issued a 70-page report in 
response to Woodfox's habeas petition. The report 
recommended that Woodfox's 1998 conviction be 
overturned, based on the deficiencies in his 
defense counsel. It also pointed to the weakness of the state's case:

At the most, the Court sees a case supported 
largely by one eyewitness [Brown] of questionable 
credibility
two corroborating witnesses, Richey 
and Fobb, both of whom, according to other 
evidence submitted with Woodfox's petition, 
provided trial testimony which was materially 
different from their written statements given 
just after the murder, and one of whom's 
testimony (Fobb's) could have been discredited by 
expert evidence; and no physical evidence 
definitively linking Woodfox to the crime.

Because, in the Court's view, the State's case 
did not have "overwhelming" record support, 
confidence in the outcome is more susceptible to 
and is undermined by defense counsel's 
errors...and as a result, Woodfox is entitled to 
the habeas relief he seeks­that his conviction 
and life sentence for the second-degree murder of 
Miller be reversed and vacated.

A month later, in July 2008, federal district 
court Judge James Brady affirmed Noland's 
findings and 
<http://abajournal.com/news/held_in_solitary_over_35_years_albert_woodfox_wins_habeas_petition/>issued 
a ruling overturning Woodfox's conviction. In 
November, he ordered Woodfox to be released on 
bail pending a new trial. "Mr. Woodfox today is 
not the Mr. Woodfox of 1973," Brady wrote in his 
ruling. "Today he is a frail, sickly, middle-aged 
man who has had an exemplary conduct record for over the last 20 years."

Buddy Caldwell, Louisiana's attorney general, 
would have none of it. He appealed Brady's 
decision, then moved swiftly to mount an 
emergency motion to block Woodfox's release. 
"We're
not going to let them get away with that 
kind of thing," 
<http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=98397302>Caldwell 
told the press. (Caldwell declined to comment for this story.)

Woodfox's release was contingent upon him finding 
a place to live. His niece, who lived in a gated 
community outside New Orleans, offered to take 
him in. But an attorney in Caldwell's office 
emailed the neighborhood association to warn that 
a cold-blooded murderer was about to be released 
into their midst. Woodfox's niece 
<http://www.wwltv.com/topstories/stories/wwl112608mlpanther.688ceab.html>reported 
that her neighbors stopped waving to her family 
and cars began circling past her house, sometimes 
stopping. "We became afraid for our children," 
she said. While his lawyers worked to secure 
other living arrangements, the court decided to 
grant the state's emergency motion, declaring 
that Woodfox would have to remain in custody pending his appeal.

Caldwell has shown a similar determination when 
it comes to Wallace, who is pursuing his case 
through state courts, backed by the same legal 
team. In 2006 a state judicial commissioner 
issued a report similar in many ways to Christine 
Noland's, recommending that Wallace's conviction 
be overturned based largely on questions about 
Hezekiah Brown's testimony. But the 
recommendation was subsequently dismissed by both 
the district court and its appellate court. 
Wallace has taken his appeal to the Louisiana 
Supreme Court, where his case is pending.

Caldwell's fixation on keeping Wallace and 
Woodfox locked up mystifies some observers of the 
case. But in addition to any political motives he 
may have, Woodfox's lawyer, Nick Trenticosta, 
suggests, Caldwell may be seeking to protect the 
reputation of one of his closest associates and 
childhood friends, John Sinquefield.

As the district attorney who prosecuted the 1973 
case against Woodfox, Sinquefield stands to be 
tainted by revelations that the state's key 
witnesses were compromised­and that he failed to 
provide key information to the defense team. 
Magistrate Judge Noland has already criticized 
Sinquefield's behavior in Woodfox's 1998 trial, 
where he was called as a witness. After Brown's 
testimony had been read into the record, 
Sinquefield, who's now the chief assistant 
district attorney for East Baton Rouge Parish, 
took the stand to describe the dead witness' 
delivery of his original testimony. Brown, said 
Sinquefield, had "testified in a good, strong 
voice, he was very open, he was very spontaneous, 
he answered questions quickly, and he was very 
fact specific." He also declared, "I was proud of 
the way he testified. I thought it took a lot of courage."

In her report, Noland pointed out that 
Sinquefield's testimony was highly unorthodox. 
She noted that "a prosecutor's statements 
suggesting that he has personal knowledge of a 
witness's credibility" meets the Supreme Court's 
criteria for "egregious prosecutorial misconduct."

Caldwell, for his part, has made clear that he 
will go to great lengths to keep Woodfox and 
Wallace in prison, and preferably in solitary 
confinement (where both men were returned after 
their brief respite last year). If need be, he 
says, he will personally prosecute Woodfox for a 
third time for the Miller murder. And if at any 
point it looks as if Woodfox will be returned to 
society­whether on bail or through 
exoneration­Caldwell has said 
<http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/33679104.html>he 
intends to launch a prosecution on what he claims 
are several 40-year-old charges of rape and 
robbery for which the prisoner was never prosecuted.

Good luck, says Aberle, who notes that Caldwell 
is referring to an arrest record from the '60s. 
Such charges were then commonly used to hold 
black men, he says, but seldom stuck because they 
had literally been pulled off a list of existing 
unsolved rape cases. "Nothing ever happened with 
any of them," Aberle says. Caldwell, he adds, 
"would have to make a case with witnesses he 
couldn't come up with 40 years ago."

After Caldwell, the man who appears most 
determined to keep Woodfox and Wallace behind 
bars, is Angola's current warden, Burl Cain. 
Known for his prison evangelizing, Cain has set 
up chapels around the grounds and a host of Bible 
study classes and other religious activities for 
prisoners. As described in a glowing 2008 article in the Baptist Press:

Once called the bloodiest prison in America, the 
Louisiana State Prison at Angola now has a new 
reputation as a place of hope for more than 5,000 
inmates who live out their life sentences without 
parole. Many inmates know they'll leave the 
prison walls only when they die, yet despite 
their circumstances, there is joy in their hearts.

Credit for this unprecedented transformation is 
given to its one-of-a-kind warden, Burl Cain, who 
governs the massive prison on the Mississippi 
River delta with an iron fist and an even stronger love for Jesus.

The article notes Cain's special dedication to 
delivering souls from the death chamber into the 
hands of Christ. When he supervised his first 
execution as warden, Cain said, "I didn't share 
Jesus" with the condemned man, and as he received 
the lethal injection, "I felt him go to hell as I 
held his hand." As Cain tells it, "I decided that 
night I would never again put someone to death 
without telling him about his soul and about 
Jesus." Cain believes that there is only one path 
toward rehabilitation, and it runs through 
Christian redemption. According to Wallace, Cain 
has at least once offered to release him and 
Woodfox from solitary if they renounced their 
political beliefs and 
<http://www.alternet.org/rights/50663/>accepted Christ as their savior.

If Cain did indeed make that offer, that's the 
extent of the mercy he's willing to show the men. 
"They chose a life of crime," 
<http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2008/03/lawyers_call_for_release_of_an.html>he 
has said. "Every choice they made is theirs. 
They're crybabies crying about it. What they 
ought to do is look in the mirror and quit 
looking out." The appeals panel that reviewed 
Woodfox's grant of bail relied heavily on Cain's 
statements in deciding to keep the prisoner in 
custody. According to the court's stay of 
release, "The only testimony on whether Woodfox 
poses a threat of danger was the deposition of 
Warden Cain, who testified about his impressions 
of Woodfox's character and Woodfox's disciplinary 
record while in prison. The Warden stated his 
belief that Woodfox has not been rehabilitated 
and still poses a threat of violence to others."

In his deposition, Cain provided numerous 
examples of Woodfox's rule breaking: Prison 
guards, he reported, had discovered five pages of 
"pornography" in the prisoner's cell, which, Cain 
went on to say, "we believe can cause inmates to 
become predators on other inmates, because they 
see­the sexual thing arouses them. And so they're 
in an environment where there are no females, 
there is no sexual gratification other than 
whatever you can create yourself, and then what 
happens is
it causes homosexuality
and is 
counterproductive to moral rehabilitation." On 
another occasion, Woodfox was found "hollering 
and shaking the bars on his cell," a "very 
serious" offense, Cain said, because the inmate 
was "absolutely being defiant," behavior that 
could cause other inmates to "rack the bars" and 
even "cause a riot." Cain rattled off more 
charges against the man he called a "predator," 
ranging from throwing feces at other prisoners to 
threatening a hunger strike. Cain said that 
Woodfox had made a "telescopic" pole of 
compressed paper that could be used as a spear or 
a blowgun. Woodfox had also been found with an 
empty Clorox bottle, something escaping prisoners 
used as "flotation devices," according to Cain, 
when making their getaways down the nearby 
Mississippi River. The majority of these 
violations­25 of them over 36 years­had occurred more than 20 years earlier.

Cain has made clear that one of the reasons he 
thinks Woodfox and Wallace are dangerous is his 
belief that the prisoners are moles for the Black 
Panthers, who might take the opportunity to start 
a revolution in the prison if they are released 
from solitary. If they're let out of prison 
altogether, Cain suggests, they will take their 
militant agenda to the streets. In his 
deposition, he stated that Robert King is "only 
waiting, in my opinion, for them to get out so they can reunite."

"Reunited for what reason?" asked Nick Trenticosta.

"Because he passes out little cookies with the 
panther on them," Cain said, apparently referring 
to the logo of King's homemade candy business. 
(King began making pralines­which he now dubs 
"freelines"­while still in Angola, using a 
makeshift stove fashioned out of soda cans and 
fueled by toilet paper.) "If he passed out those 
cookies with KKK on them, it would be no 
different to me. He would be guilty. If you build 
your life on hatred and you're hung up back 20 or 
30 years ago, and we have moved onto society past 
that, you can't go back reliving in the public. 
You're dangerous
You can keep until the cows come 
home; I'm never going to tell you he's not 
violent and dangerous, in my opinion. I just can't do it."

Asked by Trenticosta to assume, for a moment, 
that Woodfox was not guilty of killing Miller, 
Cain insisted that his treatment of the prisoner would remain unchanged.

"I would still keep him in CCR [solitary 
confinement]," he said. "I still know that he is 
still trying to practice Black Pantherism, and I 
still would not want him walking around my prison 
because he would organize the young new inmates. 
I would have me all kind of problems, more than I 
could stand, and I would have the blacks chasing 
after them [Woodfox and Wallace]
He has to stay 
in a cell while he is at Angola."

Asked to define "Black Pantherism," Cain replied, 
"I have no idea. I have never been one. I know 
they hold their fists up, and I know that I read 
about them, and they advocated violence
Maybe 
they are nice good people, but he is not."

When Trenticosta pressed him on why Woodfox was 
dangerous, Cain grew angry. "What can I say? He's 
bad. He's dangerous. I believe it. He will hurt 
you
They better not let him out of prison."

*Among the activists who have taken up the cause 
of the Angola 3 were Anita Roddick, the late 
founder of the Body Shop (who was also a Mother 
Jones board member) and her husband, Gordon. The 
Roddicks' family charity, the Roddick Foundation, 
contributed funding for this story.




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