Thursday, February 12, 2015

Louisiana Takes First Step to Retry Albert Woodfox --AG Caldwell Continues to Obstruct Justice But Albert Does Not Fear A Trial

UPDATE (Feb. 18): Until he knows if he will be released on bail, Albert is being held in isolation at West Feliciana Parish Detention Center, a small city jail with only a few dozen prisoners at any one time. His new mailing address at this facility is:

Albert Woodfox #72148
West Feliciana Parish Detention Center
PO Box 2727
St. Francisville, LA 70775

MEDIA COVERAGE:  James Gill, The Advocate

On February 11, the State of Louisiana took the first step toward a retrial and announced that a grand jury has re-indicted Albert a third time for the murder of Brent Miller.

Though we continue to hope that the State will stop wasting taxpayer money on the prosecution and torture of this innocent man, Albert looks forward to being able to prove to the world once and for all that he is innocent.

We will update you as more information becomes available, and in the meantime urge you to join over 16,000 people in the US alone (and thousands more abroad) in signing Amnesty's new petition calling for Albert's immediate release.

Amnesty USA Responds to the Indictment

In response to today's announcement of the indictment of Albert Woodfox, Amnesty International USA Executive Director Steven W. Hawkins issued the following statement:

"Attorney General Caldwell has made it clear that he is hell-bent on keeping Albert Woodfox behind bars-despite the fact that his conviction has been overturned three times, and an appeals court has affirmed that decision. He should stop pursuing a campaign of vengeance by trying to re-indict a man who has already spent more than four decades in cruel confinement, after a legal process tainted with flaws.

"His public accusations that Albert is a 'serial rapist' not only cross ethical boundaries, but inflame the public against a man who has suffered unspeakable cruelty at the hands of the Louisiana authorities. Albert Woodfox has never been tried or convicted of rape, and the accusations are entirely absent from 4 decades of trial transcripts.

"A week before his birthday, Albert should be looking forward to a bail hearing; not facing another legal hurdle in a life that has been more than half-spent in solitary.

"Attorney General Caldwell took the same action against Herman Wallace after his release: re-indicting him while he was on his deathbed, suffering from liver cancer. It is time for him to stop standing in the way of justice."

NOLA Times-Picayune Reports

Yesterday, following news of the indictment, Emily Lane of the Times-Picayune quoted lawyer George Kendall: "We are extremely disappointed in today's indictment of Albert Woodfox who has maintained his innocence since he was charged 42 years ago. This case has already spanned four decades and cost Louisiana millions of dollars, while Mr. Woodfox has been unjustly held in solitary confinement."

Lane's article also cited Tory Pegram from the A3 Coalition: "If the state really wants to go down this road, they will be reminded there is no physical evidence that links him to the crime, and witnesses have all been impeached or recanted...We are happy to say he will have the opportunity to demonstrate to the world that (Woodfox) did not commit this crime."

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