Louisiana prisoner released after 41 years in solitary


Herman Wallace
Herman Wallace

originally by: The Guardian 
published: 2 October 2013

A 71-year-old Louisiana prisoner who spent 41 years in solitary confinement and is now dying of cancer was released from prison late on Tuesday, his lawyers said.

Late on Tuesday, US district chief judge Brian Jackson in Baton Rouge denied the state’s motion seeking to block his earlier order overturning Herman Wallace’s 1974 murder conviction in the death of Angola prison guard Brent Miller.

Jackson had also ordered a new trial because women were unconstitutionally excluded from the grand jury that indicted Wallace in the guard’s death. He ordered him to be released immediately.

Wallace and two other inmates convicted in the 23-year-old guard’s slaying came to be known as the Angola Three.

Wallace, of New Orleans, was serving a 50-year armed robbery sentence when Miller was fatally stabbed in 1972. Wallace and the two others convicted in Miller’s death were moved to isolation at the Louisiana state penitentiary in Angola. In 2009, Wallace was moved to “closed-cell restriction” at Hunt correctional in St Gabriel and recently was taken to the prison’s hospital unit.

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