'Angola 3' Inmate Released After Over 40 Years In Solitary Confinement

State officials had been threatened with contempt if they did not release Wallace immediately.


Jackie Sumell is a New Orleans based artist behind "Herman's House," a collaboration with Wallace, which is the subject of a new documentary by the same name.

Terminally ill inmate Herman Wallace was apparently just released from the notorious Angola Prison, hours after a federal judge vacated his murder conviction and sentence after serving more than 40 years in solitary confinement. Wallace was one of the "Angola 3," a group of inmates who attempted to bring attention to injustices at the Louisiana penitentiary in the 1960s and 70s. He was serving time for armed robbery, when he was controversially indicted in 1972 on charges of killing a prison guard. Now 71 years old with terminal liver cancer his family hopes to move him to a hospice.

CNN:

"According to his lawyers, Wallace -- after losing between 40 and 50 pounds -- was found this summer to have terminal liver cancer.

Chemotherapy treatment has not been effective and was suspended, according to Trenticosta, one of the attorneys for Wallace and Woodfox. He said the cancer should have been treated much earlier.

Wallace and Woodfox, who remains in prison with appeals pending in his case, "endured very restrictive conditions, including periods of 23-hour cell confinement," according to Amnesty International USA.

"Tragically, this step toward justice has come as Herman is dying from cancer with only days or hours left to live. No ruling can erase the cruel, inhuman and degrading prison conditions he endured for more than 41 years," Amnesty said Tuesday.

Trenticosta said he last saw Wallace a few weeks ago.

"There is no anger with Mr. Wallace," the lawyer said. "He is the strongest person I have had the great opportunity to represent. He is about positive thinking."

"He has claimed there was an unfair trial for 41 years and finally we have that ruling," attorney Nick Trenticosta told CNN on Tuesday night. "For him to pass on from this world with friends and family at his side is extremely important."

About Diane Sweet

Diane Sweet's picture
Senior Editor, Lives in a gerrymandered district in Michigan.

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