April 17, 2001 marked 40 years to the day — since April 17, 1972, or 14,600 days ago — that Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox have been held in solitary confinement in Louisiana. The state says they were guilty of murdering a guard at Angola Prison, but Wallace, Woodfox and their network of supporters say they were framed for their political activism as members of the Black Panthers. Woodfox and Wallace founded the Angola chapter of the Black Panther Party in 1971. A third prisoner, Robert King joined them a year later. The three campaigned for better working conditions and racial solidarity between inmates, as well as an end to rape and sexual slavery. Today, to mark the 40-year anniversary of their placement in solitary confinement, Amnesty International says it will deliver a petition to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal that bears the signatures of tens of thousands of people from 125 countries. In the videos above, Robert King who was released in 2001 when his conviction was overturned and he pleaded guilty to a lesser offense, speaks out about this ongoing injustice.
Related: Angola 3: 36 Years of Solitude | Mother Jones (Special Reports)
- Louisiana’s Angola 3: 100 Years of Solitude -By Wende Gozan Brown | Amnesty Intl
100 Years in Solitary: The Angola 3 and Their Fight for Justice | Amnesty Intl (Report)
- End 40 Years of Solitary Confinement in Louisiana (Download Petition)
- Angola 3 (Website)