Angola 3 Inmate Dies Days After Being Released

    October 5, 2013
    Tobias Roth
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Herman Wallace, just three days after being released from prison, died on Friday morning. He was 71 years old and died after a tough battle with liver cancer. Just days ago, he made news when he was released from solitary confinement after four decades of being locked up for a crime that he did not commit.

Wallace was one of the “Angola 3,” a group of inmates who protested what they said were injustices at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. Wallace and two other inmates were convicted of armed robbery in 1971 and sent to Angola Prison. The next year, the three men were charged with the stabbing of prison guard Brent Miller, which resulted in his death. As a result, the three of them were placed in solitary confinement and while there were no fingerprints found, they were found guilty.

In addition to Wallace, the Angola 3 was made up of Albert Woodfox and Robert King. It has been said that the targeting of these men was race related and while at the prison, Wallace founded a chapter of the Black Panthers. CNN states that both Wallace and Woodfox claim to have been targeted because of their activism with the Black Panther party. The Angola 3 was also the subject of a documentary called In The Land of The Free, narrated by Samuel L. Jackson.

It was previously said that he was not likely to live for more than a couple months and his time was cut much shorter than that. After many years of being locked up, he was only given a few days to live on the outside, but at least he died a free man. In the decision to release Wallace from prison, the judge said on Tuesday that his petition was granted because women were excluded from the grand jury in his case four decades ago, which violates the 14th amendment of the US constitution, according to NBC News.

Wallace’s attorney, George Kendall, said that he died at a friend’s home with friends and family near his bedside. He also mentioned that “He was determined that (solitary confinement) was not going to break him.” Wallace was able to prevail after a long struggle of a prison sentence and die peacefully, where he was comfortable and surrounded by loved ones, as Kendall mentioned. The other Angola 3 members have had a very different fate, with King being released in 2001, after 29 years of isolation and Woodfox’s case is still pending before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Upon his return to home, he was greeted by a large number of people in the street, chanting in his honor.

Image via Youtube

  • AAA

    Armed robbery is why he was in prison. He murdered a guard. Would not the death penalty be the correct punishment.

    Stick to the facts, the trial, the appeals, the NAACP.

    Is it difficult just to say he did it and got what he deserved?

    the last inmate executed California was an elderly man and people felt sorry for him. He was serving life for murder when he contracted 3 murders from inside prison.

  • Stan Mlynarczyk

    “Him and two other inmates were convicted of armed robbery in 1971 “… OK…, I guess my expectations of a journalist (especially an English major) is that he or she is capable of using proper grammar or at least proof-reading before publishing. English is not my native language so I might have and excuse, however, I do expect that journalists raise instead of lower the bar. Failing to do so will relegate their works to a lower class regardless of any other redeeming qualities.

    • kathy

      Tobias…you need to get your money back on your degree.

      “It has been said that they targeting of these men…” THE targeting of these men.

      “…fourteenth amendment of the constitution…” 14th Amendment of the US Constitution

      “died at a friends house” died at a friend’s house

  • JellyBean

    Another case of the justice system destroying someone’s life. Does one sleep peacefully knowing what you have done? Does it make you feel good to do something this wrong & pathetic to a black person? I honestly feel sorry for a mind and a heart so shallow & filled with hatred that it would allow bigotry to control it. People who live like this have to be truly miserable. To hate or do harm to anyone because of the color of their skin is so stupid to me. We are all human beings, none better or higher than another. Once the world realizes this, it will be a much better place to live, be, & breathe.

  • JellyBean

    Did they do the armed robbery?

  • Emily Posner

    Please help us insure that what happened to Herman Wallace never happens again. Please sign this petition to get a Congressional hearing on the use of solitary confinement in Louisiana http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/demand-a-congressional