Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A3 Newsletter: Join Us in New Orleans on Sept. 2nd for Albert Woodfox's Appeal Hearing

(PHOTO: A3 supporters gathered outside the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans at one of Albert's previous hearings, on Jan. 7, 2014.)

After a summer of back and forth briefing on paper, on Wednesday morning, September 2nd, in the East Courtroom a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans will hear oral arguments on whether Federal Judge James Brady's June 8th "unconditional writ" officially overturning Albert's conviction, ordering his release, and barring a retrial (a ruling he presented as "the only just remedy") will stand.

As usual, the public is welcome to attend.  Though we don't know for sure what time our case will be heard, doors open at 8am and court convenes at 8:30am. Arguments are expected to be short (usually each side only gets about 45 minutes) and for those unable to attend audio recordings are posted on the 5th's website by close of business that same day.

A decision from that Court is expected sometime later this fall.  If Judge Brady's ruling is upheld, Albert will be released and a retrial banned.  If reversed, the Fifth Circuit does not have the power to reinstate Albert's overturned conviction, but can put limits on the terms of Judge Brady's Writ and release order.

New Orleans Mural of Albert Woodfox

(PHOTO: Albert's brother, Michael Mable in front of the new mural)

We are excited to announce that a 25-foot-tall mural of Albert Woodfox has been unveiled in New Orleans at 537 S. Claiborne Ave., near the Superdome. The new mural was painted by artist Brandan "BMike" Odums in conjunction with Amnesty International USA's Art for Amnesty program.

The black and white portrait depicts Albert against a white setting sun striped with prison bars. Text beside the mural reads: "4 Decades of Solidarity, 43 Years of Injustice." Odums is best known for his pair of masterpiece public art installations "Project Be" in 2013 and "Exhibit Be" in 2014 that featured images of African-American political figures painted in unoccupied low-income housing apartments.

US Congressman Cedric Richmond's New Bill Targets 'Modern Day Torture' of Solitary Confinement

On July 29, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), and Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL) introduced H.R. 3399, the Solitary Confinement Study and Reform Act of 2015, a bipartisan bill to dramatically reform the practice of solitary confinement in the United States federal prison system.

"We have abused the practice of solitary confinement to the point where it has become modern day torture," said Rep. Richmond. "Too many prisoners, including the seriously mentally ill and juveniles are locked away for twenty-three hours a day often with little to no due process and at a steep cost to the taxpayer. Instead of being reserved for the worst of the worst, solitary confinement is too often being overused for 'administrative' reasons to avoid providing treatment for the mentally ill and rehabilitation for those who will return to society. This practice, in its current form is inconsistent with our morals and values in America. We must be better than that."

 Hugo Pinell: Fallen Warrior
(March 10, 1945 - August 12, 2015)

(We in the A3 Coalition were saddened to hear of Hugo Pinell's death. Featured below is a statement from the San Quentin 6. Listen to an audio tribute by Freedom Archives here. The drawing of Hugo is by Kiilu Nyasha.)

"Hugo Pinell was assassinated at new Folsom State Prison. This is another example of the racism people of color inside those prisons are confronted with on a daily basis. Like Comrade George, Hugo has been in the cross hairs of the system for years. His assassination exemplify how racist working in conjunction with prison authorities commit murderous acts like this. We saw it on the yard at Soledad in 1970 and we see it again on the yard at Folsom in 2015.

His life was a living hell. We witness the brutality inflicted on him by prison guards as they made every effort to break him,  he endured more than fifty years of sensory deprivation, for decades  he was denied being able to touch his family or another human being,  as well as attempts on his life. This is cruel and unusual punishment! Hugo is not the monster that is being portrayed in social media / news media. The CDC is the real monster.

During the six trial we really got to know Hugo. He was as we all were under a lot of stress. His stress was heavier than mines because he had the additional load of being beaten on regular occasions. We saw the strength of his of his spirit, and through it all he managed to smile.

We mourn the loss of our comrade brother, Yogi. We have been hit with a crushing blow that will take some time to recover from. We must expose those who under the cover of law orchestrated and allowed this murderous  act to take place. The prisoners who did it acted as agents of the state. It comes at a time when prisoners  are collectively trying to end decades of internal strife.  Those who took his life  have done a disservice to our movement, their actions served the cause of the same oppressor we fought against!  No longer do you have to endure the hatred of people who didn't even know you and never dared to love you. You have represented George & Che well, and we salute you!"

Write Albert:

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

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