Vindication for the Angola 3

With great joy, we can announce that we have just received an opinion from Commissioner Rachel Morgan of the 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge recommending that Herman Wallace’s 1974 murder conviction be reversed. The opinion is the result of an evidentiary hearing held inside the Louisiana State Penitentiary on September 19, and gives us new hope that Herman, who is 65 years old and has now been in solitary confinement for 34 years, may soon win his freedom. There are, however, still struggles ahead.

The Commissioner found that the prosecution violated Herman’s due process rights by hiding from the jury and defense lawyers the fact that it had provided prison informant Hezekiah Brown, their key witness, with the promise of a pardon from a life sentence as well as a carton of cigarettes per week and a private room with a television on prison grounds. Under the law, this constitutional violation requires that Herman’s conviction for the 1972 murder of a correctional officer be overturned. This case, like so many others, involves an incompetent and biased investigation focusing on innocent men and prosecutors who lied and cheated to win convictions.

We are still several steps away from this decision resulting in Herman’s release. The Commissioner’s recommended ruling will now be presented to the district judge, who has the power to adopt it as is (which routinely happens), amend it, or order further hearings. We are hopeful, given the strength of Herman’s case and the reasoning of the opinion, that the court will adopt the Commissioner’s recommendation as it is written and overturn Herman’s conviction.

If the court does overturn the conviction, it is likely that the Baton Rouge district attorney’s office will appeal that decision to the Louisiana Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, a process that could take as long as two years. It is also possible that the state could seek to retry Herman, but we would vigorously challenge a retrial at this late stage as a violation of Herman’s constitutional rights. Moreover, considering the weakness of the state’s evidence, it is difficult to envision a retrial resulting in any verdict other than acquittal.

We spoke at length with Herman and his codefendant Albert Woodfox today. They are both overjoyed. Herman was able to personally notify several of his family members and friends, and he asked us to thank all of the dozens, if not hundreds, of people who have contributed to this cause over the years. Albert is hopeful that success in Herman’s case will help him, as he is just beginning the process of litigating a federal habeas corpus petition.

We still have a long way to go before Herman and Albert are freed. We will keep everyone informed of developments in the case. In the meantime, check out this new music video dedicated to the Angola 3 case, produced by Dave Stewart of Eurythmics, and the AP article on the new decision.

Nick Trenticosta and Scott Fleming were attorneys for Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox. They can be reached at: scott@prisonactivist.org



March 21, 2018
Paul Street
Time is Running Out: Who Will Protect Our Wrecked Democracy from the American Oligarchy?
Mel Goodman
The Great Myth of the So-Called “Adults in the Room”
Chris Floyd
Stumbling Blocks: Tim Kaine and the Bipartisan Abettors of Atrocity
Eric Draitser
The Political Repression of the Radical Left in Crimea
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan Threatens Wider War Against the Kurds
John Steppling
It is Us
Thomas Knapp
Death Penalty for Drug Dealers? Be Careful What You Wish for, President Trump
Manuel García, Jr.
Why I Am Leftist (Vietnam War)
Isaac Christiansen
A Left Critique of Russiagate
Howard Gregory
The Unemployment Rate is an Inadequate Reporter of U.S. Economic Health
Ramzy Baroud
Who Wants to Kill Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah?
Roy Morrison
Trouble Ahead: The Trump Administration at Home and Abroad
Roger Hayden
Too Many Dead Grizzlies
George Wuerthner
The Lessons of the Battle to Save the Ancient Forests of French Pete
Binoy Kampmark
Fictional Free Trade and Permanent Protectionism: Donald Trump’s Economic Orthodoxy
Rivera Sun
Think Outside the Protest Box
March 20, 2018
Jonathan Cook
US Smooths Israel’s Path to Annexing West Bank
Jeffrey St. Clair
How They Sold the Iraq War
Chris Busby
Cancer, George Monbiot and Nuclear Weapons Test Fallout
Nick Alexandrov
Washington’s Invasion of Iraq at Fifteen
David Mattson
Wyoming Plans to Slaughter Grizzly Bears
Paul Edwards
My Lai and the Bad Apples Scam
Julian Vigo
The Privatization of Water and the Impoverishment of the Global South
Mir Alikhan
Trump and Pompeo on Three Issues: Paris, Iran and North Korea
Seiji Yamada
Preparing For Nuclear War is Useless
Gary Leupp
Brennan, Venality and Turpitude
Martha Rosenberg
Why There’s a Boycott of Ben & Jerry’s on World Water Day, March 22
John Pilger
Skripal Case: a Carefully-Constructed Drama?
March 19, 2018
Henry Heller
The Moment of Trump
John Davis
Pristine Buildings, Tarnished Architect
Uri Avnery
The Fake Enemy
Patrick Cockburn
The Fall of Afrin and the Next Phase of the Syrian War
Nick Pemberton
The Democrats Can’t Save Us
Nomi Prins 
Jared Kushner, RIP: a Political Obituary for the President’s Son-in-Law
Georgina Downs
The Double Standards and Hypocrisy of the UK Government Over the ‘Nerve Agent’ Spy Poisoning
Dean Baker
Trump and the Federal Reserve
Colin Todhunter
The Strategy of Tension Towards Russia and the Push to Nuclear War
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
US Empire on Decline
Ralph Nader
Ahoy America, Give Trump a Taste of His Own Medicine Starting on Trump Imitation Day
Robert Dodge
Eliminate Nuclear Weapons by Divesting from Them
Laura Finley
Shame on You, Katy Perry
Weekend Edition
March 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Michael Uhl
The Tip of the Iceberg: My Lai Fifty Years On
Bruce E. Levine
School Shootings: Who to Listen to Instead of Mainstream Shrinks
Mel Goodman
Caveat Emptor: MSNBC and CNN Use CIA Apologists for False Commentary
Paul Street
The Obama Presidency Gets Some Early High Historiography