Get Albert home for Christmas

The end was almost in sight for Albert Woodfox this year. First sent to solitary confinement in Louisiana, USA, in 1972, his four decades in isolation looked like they would be over when Albert’s original conviction was overturned (for a third time) and he was cleared for unconditional release back in June.

Louisiana state authorities were barred by the federal judge from retrying him for the same crime. The federal court has also stated that it has a ‘lack of confidence’ in the state to provide Albert a fair trial, while voicing concern over ‘the prejudice done to Woodfox by spending over forty years in solitary confinement’ – longer than seemingly any other prisoner in the US.

Immediately, the same state authorities who had worked so hard to keep Albert in solitary since the early 70s appealed the ruling. Their appeal was successful, and last month the ruling that barred the state from retrying Albert again for the same crime was reversed. Now, once again, Albert is due to be tried for the same crime. He truly is trapped in a nightmare.

Ask Louisiana authorities to let Albert go

 

The case against Albert still doesn’t stand up. Accused of murdering a prison guard in Louisiana State Penitentiary in 1972 – a charge Albert’s always denied – his conviction twice before has been based on a lack of physical evidence; eyewitness testimonies that were found to have been bribed by officials; the suppression of exculpatory evidence by the state – at trials riddled with many procedural errors.

Add to that the state’s treatment of Albert during his incarceration – keeping him in isolation in a cell measuring 2 metres by 3 metres for over four decades now – and it’s clear that Louisiana officials have an agenda. Albert’s connection with the Black Panther Party has played no small part in his being kept in solitary. But it’s time for those officials to part with historic hold-ups and grant Albert his long-overdue freedom.

The outgoing Attorney must make Albert’s freedom his legacy

The current Attorney General of Louisiana, James ‘Buddy’ Caldwell, was unsuccessful in his election bid last month; he will relinquish the position in February 2016.

During his time in office, Buddy Caldwell has repeatedly refused Albert justice. But now is the chance for him to turn that around.

As Attorney General, Buddy Caldwell has the power to open Albert’s cell. With Albert’s conviction overturned again and Caldwell’s time as Attorney General coming to an end, now is the time for us to show Caldwell that he can leave a positive legacy.

Ask for Albert’s freedom

Tweet the Attorney General

Please make #AlbertWoodfox’s freedom your legacy, @LouisianaAGO

Tweet

 

Free #AlbertWoodfox & let him go home for Christmas, @LouisianaAGO

Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');

 

Please stand for what’s right & release #AlbertWoodfox as your legacy, @LouisianaAGO

Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');

Post on the Attorney General’s Facebook page

There is no option to post directly on the Attorney General’s Facebook wall, but you could leave a comment on a recent post on the page, along the lines of:

‘Please free Albert Woodfox. After decades of injustice, let Albert’s freedom and long-awaited justice be your legacy. Let him go home for Christmas.'

The Attorney General posted last week some tips on 'how to have a safe and stress-free holiday period'. You could always comment on the post below asking him to allow Albert a safe and stress-free holiday period by releasing him! To do that, hit 'comment' on the post below.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_GB/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, consumers may become distracted and forget to keep safety first. ...

Posted by Office of the Louisiana Attorney General on Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Your support means the world to Albert

Over the years, Amnesty supporters have stood by Albert and his campaign for justice. You have written to the authorities, you have sent Albert messages of support, you have continued to call for justice where it is blatantly long overdue. This does not go unnoticed by Albert.

Robert King, Albert’s former prison inmate and another member of the Angola 3, recently told us (again) that your support helps to keep Albert going, despite the decades of injustice he’s endured.

‘Albert is elated that he is getting this support. It means the authorities know that Albert and his supporters aren’t going away. They have tried to quell and quash this, and every time they try, it just gets bigger.’
Robert King

Now we must convince Buddy Caldwell, as he prepares to leave office, to use his last chance to free Albert, and allow him justice at long last.

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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