A federal judge in Louisiana has ordered the release of a man who sat in solitary confinement in prison for 43 years, prompting the man's lawyer to say justice has been achieved.The order signed Monday overturns the second conviction against Albert Woodfox for the 1972 killing of a prison guard at the Louisiana State Penitentiaryin Angola. The order also bars a third trial from taking place. Woodfox had always maintained his innocence and has said he was implicated in the guard's murder because he helped organize the prison's Black Panther Party chapter. Woodfox was in prison serving a sentenced for armed robbery when the guard died.
The order signed by U.S. District Judge James Brady, who serves in Baton Rouge, cited numerous reasons, including an agreement with Woodfox's earlier argument that he received ineffective counsel. The judge also noted that the state cheated at the trial to get a conviction and every significant government witness is dead, Woodfox's lawyer, George Kendall, said in a telephone interview.
Read more @: Louisiana inmate, last of Angola 3, ordered free after 43 years in solitary
Unfortunately sometimes justice takes an incredibly long time. 43 years in solitary confinement... 43 incredibly long years. I hope this is not appealed, and or Woodfox wins his appeal. "Having considered theparties’ arguments, the jurisprudence, and the factual and procedural history of this case, thisCourt exercises its discretion in finding that there are exceptional circumstances, and the only just remedy is an unconditional writ of habeas corpus barring retrial of Mr. Albert Woodfox andreleasing Mr. Woodfox from custody immediately. An order will be issued accordingly"