[Pnews] Angola 3 Prisoner Herman Wallace Given Just Days to Live - Democracy Now

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Sep 30 11:35:03 EDT 2013

First we look at Angola prisoner Herman Wallace, who is dying of liver

cancer after 42 years in solitary confinement. Wallace's supporters
say he has just days to live, but his requests for compassionate
release has so far gone unanswered. We speak with Jackie Sumell, a New
Orleans-based artist behind "Herman's House," a collaboration with
Wallace, which is the subject of a new documentary by the same name.
We are also joined by Malik Rahim, one of the founders of the
Louisiana chapter of the Black Panther Party and a co-founder of the
Common Ground Collective.

Watch this 15-minute segment at:

A member of the so-called Angola 3, Wallace and two others were in
jail for armed robbery, then accused in 1972 of murdering a prison
guard at the Louisiana State Penitentiary known as Angola Prison. The
men say they were framed because of their political activism as
members one of the first prison chapters of the Black Panther Party.
"I'm not sure in the state of Louisiana if compassion is part of the
vocabulary of those who are in power. I always felt that compassionate
release, or asking for compassionate release, was important in terms
of a multi-pronged effort to have Herman released," Sumell says. "But
there's been 42 years of the state continuing to deny Herman's due
process. It's incredible. He's the longest known serving in solitary
confinement in the United States."

"I wanted to say that compassion, compassion and justice, do not exist
in Louisiana. Their confinement is based on what the state calls,
'Black Pantherism,'" Rahim says. "I believe that this is one of the
saddest occasions of my life. It wouldn't have been a Common Ground if
it wouldn't have been the Angola 3," Rahim says. "And this is the
reward he gets for saving this city and this area, is to die in a
prison cell. It's something that leaves a bitter taste in my mouth."

"I had the opportunity to visit with Herman yesterday and it's really
obvious beyond a reasonable doubt, we are days, if not hours, away
from watching the state of Louisiana kill another innocent man behind
bars," Sumell explains.

In a report on a separate case, we are joined by Henry James, the
longest serving prisoner to be exonerated in Louisiana. James spent 30
years in the notorious Louisiana State Penitentiary, known as Angola
Prison, on a life sentence without parole for rape. At trial, the
prosecution never told the jury that serology testing from the rape
kit excluded James as the perpetrator. In 2011, DNA evidence found by
accident proved James' innocence, winning him his release. We also
speak with Emily Maw, director of the Innocence Project of New
Orleans, which helped win his exoneration.

Watch the 30-minute segment here:

"Henry James' case is unfortunately atypical. Everybody in Louisiana
who is convicted of murder or rape gets sentenced to life without
parole, there is no other sentence for those two crimes. What is
atypical about Henry's case is that they found the evidence," Maw
says. "In Louisiana, as in many places, evidence storage and
preservation practices are atrocious. People lose evidence all the
time in cases where DNA testing could prove their innocence."

Louisiana is the heart of the world's prison capital, where more
people are behind bars any other state per capita, an incarceration
rate 13 times that of China. Louisiana also ranks among the highest in
the country in terms of the number of people per capita who are
exonerated after serving years in prison for crimes they did not commit.


Freed by DNA, Angola Prisoner Henry James on His 30 Years Behind Bars
for Crime He Didn't Commit


<iframe width="400" height="225"

Cancer-Stricken Angola 3 Prisoner Herman Wallace Given Just Days to
Live After 42 Years in Solitary


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src="//www.youtube.com/embed/U309a7nB-zY" frameborder="0"


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