21 maart, 2013

The war against the Black Panther Party still on

The other day I "took action" by signing a petition for two prisoners in Angola, Louisiana. The petition did not state that the prisoners may be innocent. They claim to be, and you may believe this or not. They may have a point, as members of the Black Panther party, which was persecuted with genocidal fervour. But the petition was about the instating of a judge's ruling about the release of Albert Woodfox, not about their claim of innocence. Amnesty USA earlier asked to end their solitary confinement, it still does as a matter of fact.

Take Action with Amnesty International to support Albert Woodfox
In addition to Amnesty International's standing call for Albert Woodfox and Herman Walllace to be immediately released from solitary confinement, on March 11, 2013 they launched a new online campaign calling for Attorney General James Caldwell to not appeal the February 2013 overturning of Albert Woodfox's conviction.

Please support Albert by taking action here!


You might expect that the signing persons of the petition may at least be spared the disclosure of their email addresses to those concerned with the plantation industry in the USA. In this case, the expectation proves to be wrong. Several people received the following message today:

Thank you for your interest in the ambush, savage attack and brutal murder of Officer Brent Miller at Louisiana State Penitentiary (LSP) on April 17, 1972. Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace committed this murder, stabbing and slicing Miller over 35 times.

Between the years 1967 and 1969 before coming to LSP the last time for armed robbery and aggravated escape, Albert Woodfox was in the streets of New Orleans and charged with numerous crimes, some of which, he was convicted. Among those numerous charges are at least 6 separate, unresolved aggravated rapes and armed robberies. Some of these victims were female patrons or waitresses who were raped during the late night or early morning robberies of bars in the New Orleans area.

NO court has ever ruled that these inmates are innocent of the murder of Officer Miller. I have been prosecuting murders for the past 35 years as a District Attorney in Louisiana. If these inmates would have been innocent, we would have never had any of these proceedings and I would have personally turned Woodfox loose. The evidence against him is overpowering. There are no flaws in our evidence and this case is very strong. We feel confident that we will again prevail at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. However, if we do not, we are fully prepared and willing to retry this murderer again. Woodfox was indicted by two separate grand juries and unanimously convicted by two separate juries of his peers. Wallace was indicted and unanimously convicted by a jury of his peers.

Contrary to popular lore, Woodfox and Wallace have never been held in solitary confinement while in the Louisiana penal system. They have been held in protective cell units known as CCR. These units were designed to protect inmates as well as correctional officers. They have always been able to communicate freely with other inmates and prison staff as frequently as they want. They have televisions on the tiers which they watch through their cell doors. In their cells they can have radios and headsets, reading and writing materials, stamps, newspapers, magazines and books. They also can shop at the canteen store a couple of times per week where they can purchase grocery and personal hygiene items which they keep in their cells.

These convicted murderers have an hour outside of their cells each day where they can exercise in the hall, talk on the phone, shower, and visit with the other 10 to 14 inmates on the tier. At least three times per week they can go outside on the yard and exercise and enjoy the sun if they want. This is all in addition to the couple of days set aside for visitations each week.

These inmates are frequently visited by spiritual advisors, medical personnel and social workers. They have had frequent and extensive contact with numerous individuals from all over the world, by telephone, mail, and face-to-face personal visits. They even now have email capability. Contrary to numerous reports, this is not solitary confinement.

As you know, these convicted murderers filed a civil lawsuit alleging they have been denied due process and have been mistreated. It is important to know that if they win this civil case they could possibly receive money and a change in their housing assignments. This lawsuit WILL NOT result in their release from prison.

It is also important that you know that Woodfox and Wallace have not resided at LSP for the past several years. Woodfox was transferred to David Wade Correctional Center on November 1, 2010 and Wallace was transferred to Elayn Hunt Correctional Center on March 19, 2009.

Let me be clear, Woodfox and Wallace are GUILTY and have NEVER been held in solitary confinement. They are serving out the life sentences handed down by the unanimous jury verdicts for brutally and savagely murdering Officer Brent Miller.

James D. “Buddy” Caldwell

Louisiana Attorney General

Make "Buddy" write to you too by signing the petition.

More on this case and the Angola 3.

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