[Pnews] Angola 3 - Albert Woodfox' Courtroom Battles Continue - October 29 and Beyond
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Oct 28 12:03:41 EDT 2014
Albert's Courtroom Battles Continue
October 29 and Beyond
Please join us on the morning of Wednesday, October 29th, at the US
Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit
(600 Camp St.) in New Orleans for oral arguments about whether or not to
uphold Judge Brady's January 2014 ruling that put an end to the
invasive, dehumanizing strip and cavity searches Albert had been
tortured by since May of 2013.
As you may remember, this is the second of two outstanding appeals of
rulings in A3's favor that have frozen progress towards the final trial
prep stages of the decade long A3 civil case, which seeks to establish
long term solitary as the unconstitutionally cruel and unusual
punishment the A3 know it to be.
The cruel and rather perplexing irony of this corner of the civil case
is that it was a lawsuit that Albert himself filed and won in 1978 that
put an end to the demeaning practice for decades, until two months after
his conviction was overturned for a 3rd time. It was then that prison
officials at David Wade Correctional Center, where he is currently being
held, inexplicably began to again routinely strip and cavity search
Albert every time he left or entered his cell, even if he was shackled
and had no contact with anyone besides prison officials.
In his ruling, Judge Brady found that these frequent, routine searches
were not shown to be "necessary" or "justified" for security as is
required constitutionally of such policies, and therefore "Woodfox's
human dignity [as] protected by his Fourth Amendment rights" outweighed
any "legitimate penological interest." The State disagrees and is
fighting to reinstate the searches.
If you are in town and able to attend, the proceedings are open to the
public. Doors open at 8am and court convenes at 9am in the West
Courtroom, room 265. Although listed second on the schedule for the
there is no telling the exact time our case will begin, so it is better
to arrive early, but be prepared to potentially stay all morning.
Arguments themselves are expected to be very short--30 minutes or less
per side. Seating is limited, and formal dress and conduct are both
required and strictly enforced by Federal Marshals.
For those unable to attend, the hearing will be recorded by the Court
and we will circulate a link to the proceedings as it becomes available.
*13 Days in the Dungeon - Albert's New Civil Suit*
Last week Albert filed another civil action, separate from the larger A3
civil suit, seeking to hold the Louisiana DOC and prison officials at
Elayn Hunt Correctional Center (which you may remember as the prison
where Herman spent his last years) to account for the 13 harrowing days
he spent in the dungeon there before, during, and after his May 2012
habeas hearing in Baton Rouge.
Officials ignored all transfer, classification, and disciplinary
procedures required to justify such a harsh placement, and put Albert in
the dungeon shortly after he arrived for the 3 day hearing that months
later would result in his conviction being overturned for a 3rd time.
When Albert objected to the punitive placement without due process or
review, he was told: "this decision comes from higher up."
Albert's complaint details multiple egregious violations of his 1st,
8th, and 14th Amendment during his stay at Hunt. In addition to denying
him access to yard time, TV, phone, visits, canteen, and confiscating
the basic clothes and hygiene products he was allowed to bring with him;
Albert was served inedible food, including at least one meal served
still frozen in a block of ice, and forced to wear leg shackles without
socks which caused severe cuts and bruises on his ankles that took
months to heal. Most importantly the harsh conditions, extreme heat,
and continuous screaming and moaning from other inmates tortured by
their punishment in dungeon cells nearby, prevented Albert from
participating fully in the hearing that would determine his freedom,
resulting in significant mental and emotional anguish on top of the very
real physical suffering he endured.
We will keep you updated as this important new challenge moves along
through the courts.
*Albert Woodfox #72148 *
*David Wade Correctional Center *
*670 Bell Hill Road *
*Homer, LA 71040 *
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415
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