Albert Woodfox, the last of the men known as the Angola 3, was released from a Louisiana prison on Friday.
He had spent over four decades in solitary confinement at the notorious Louisiana State Penitentiary known as “Angola.”
WBRZ Reporter Michael Vinsanau tweeted this photo of Woodfox as he walked out of prison:
His release, on his 69th birthday, comes after he pleaded no contest to charges of manslaughter and aggravated burglary in the 1972 death of a prison guard. Though his previous convictions of murder for the death were previously thrown out, the state had blocked his release. He had always maintained his innocence.
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As Amy Goodman previously wrote, Woodfox and the other members of the Angola 3, Robert King Wilkerson and Herman Wallace, believe the decades they spent locked in solitary were “retaliation for forming the first prison chapter of the Black Panthers in 1971. They were targeted for organizing against segregation, inhumane working conditions and the systemic rape and sexual slavery inflicted on many imprisoned at Angola.”
Ahead of his release, Woodfox issued this statement to supporters: “Although I was looking forward to proving my innocence at a new trial, concerns about my health and my age have caused me to resolve this case now and obtain my release with this no-contest plea to lesser charges. I hope the events of today will bring closure to many.”
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