Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Report from Albert Woodfox's Evidentiary Hearing

Media Coverage:  KBOO Radio interviews law professor Angela A. Allen-Bell and Everett R. H. Thompson of Amnesty International  II  Torture at Our Expense, by Parnell Herber, New Orleans Tribune

DAY THREE: Thursday, May 31

Today Albert Woodfox's three day hearing seeking to overturn his conviction based on discrimination of the grand jury foreperson during his 1998 retrial came to a close.  Each side was asked by the Judge to submit a final brief on the matter 21 days after the transcript of the hearing is made available (which should take about 3 weeks), and a final rebuttal to those briefs 20 days after that.  The matter is then completely in the hands of Judge Brady, who is expected to make a decision by the end of 2012.

Thanks to all the supporters who packed the courtroom day after day for this crucial proceeding.  Hopefully coming months will finally bring long overdue justice for Albert.

DAY TWO: Wednesday, May 30

Midday the State rested their case, and both sides requested that the judge rule that the other had not met their burden and end the proceedings then and there.  To avoid another delay in the proceedings for him to consider these motions, Judge Brady instead asked Albert's legal team to proceed with the presentation of their case for the record while everyone was already assembled and promised to decide the pending motions sometime later.

Where's the Evidence? Amnesty International Launches New Action as Albert Woodfox's Court Hearing Begins

(VISITING WITH HERMAN: From left to right are Herman's sister Vicki Wallace, Herman Wallace, Jackie Sumell, Emily Posner, Angad Bhalla. Emily reports that "our group visited with Herman for the full day on Sunday, May 27, 2012. Conversation was lively and filled with hope around Albert's upcoming evidentiary hearing in Baton Rouge.")

Amnesty International Launches New Action as Albert Woodfox's Court Hearing Begins

Today Albert Woodfox will appear in court in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, seeking his conviction to be overturned for a third time. As we start this three-day evidentiary hearing, Amnesty International has released a statement about the significance of this hearing for Albert and everyone else's  "right to trial, in full equality and free from discrimination, before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal." A3 supporters are invited to attend the May 29-31 hearing (read more here). 

Determined to secure justice for the Angola 3, today Amnesty will simultaneously launch the second stage of their campaign demanding Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace's immediate release from solitary confinement. Amnesty's new online petition is calling for James M. LeBlanc, the Secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections to account for his comments that Herman and Albert were being kept in solitary to protect prison employees, other inmates and visitors. Amnesty asks "where's the evidence?"
We thank all of our supporters who signed the earlier petition to Governor Jindal and now ask you to please take action by signing the new petition to Secretary LeBlanc.

*Amnesty International's new petition and statement about Albert's court hearing are reprinted in full below.

*Keep updated by visiting our brand new Free All The Angola 3 facebook page.  

Friday, May 18, 2012

Amnesty International delivers A3 petitions but Governor Jindal refuses to meet the delegation

  Photo of the delegation after delivering petitions.
On April 17, Amnesty International was joined by a delegation of supporters, holding a press conference at the Louisiana State Capitol building in Baton Rouge, LA, and hand delivering to Governor Bobby Jindal's office the petition initiated by Amnesty International demanding the immediate release of the Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox from solitary confinement.

Governor Jindal refused to meet with the delegation despite several attempts made by Amnesty International to contact him in the weeks leading up to the petition delivery.

In a statement released that day, Everette Harvey Thompson, Southern Office Regional Director of Amnesty International USA, argued that "the 40-year isolated incarceration of these two men is scandalous. There is no legitimate penal purpose for keeping these men in solitary - Louisiana authorities must end this inhumanity." The day before, Thompson told Between the Lines: "We've contacted Gov. Jindal's office many times over the past couple of weeks, requesting a meeting to discuss the case of the Angola 3, to inquire about the use of solitary confinement in this case, and there's been no response. Gov. Jindal has the opportunity to stand on the right side of justice and order removal of Albert and Herman from isolation. We really hope he will take heed and make some moves."

Thursday, May 17, 2012

May 29 Court Date for Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3

Albert Woodfox

On Tuesday, May 29th, Albert Woodfox will begin a 3 day hearing that may result in his conviction being overturned for a third time. Proceedings will begin at 9am in Courtroom 1 at the US District Court in Baton Rouge and continue through Thursday, May 31st.

Albert will be present for the proceedings, and the hearing is open to the public. Please remember if attending that the Federal Court strictly enforces a more formal, conservative dress code (no short skirts or shorts of any kind, even with tights, no bare upper arms, sleeveless, or low cut shirts) and requires that observers don't react, either visibly or audibly, to anything the might see or hear in the courtroom. Also security is tight, so bring only your ID, car keys, and a pen and paper into the courthouse.

There is limited seating in the courtroom so if you arrive and are turned away, consider your show of support a success and try coming back the next day!