[Pnews] Angola 3 - Albert Woodfox' Courtroom Battles Continue - October 29 and Beyond

Prisoner News 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 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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