Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Color of Innocence: Angola 3 Newsletter

Sept. 14, 2010

The question now is where do I, our attorneys and many friends and supporters go? Judicially, I will meet with our attorneys and see what options there are. Politically, there is no question, the struggle goes on.” –Albert Woodfox

In the early days of this effort, supporters were clear that the facts of this case led to Herman and Albert’s innocence and their unjust incarceration. The flimsy evidence used to indict them is suspect at best and more likely manufactured. Like thousands of others who languish in America’s largest growth industry, the prison industrial complex, only with slightly more egregious circumstances, Herman and Albert deserve an equal chance at justice, not the racially and politically skewed hearings that have led to their entombment.

Somewhere along the way, in these past several years, our grassroots efforts have been subverted. When Attorney General Caldwell went to the media with baseless allegations about Albert two autumns ago, he fully intended the judges of the 5th Circuit to read those rumors. There, of course, was and is no such thing as pleading not guilty to rape charges as a young black man with a record and having the charges dropped. The story was patently false, designed entirely to sway public and judicial opinion. Similar obfuscating methods have been part of the State’s effort to keep Herman and Albert isolated since 1972.

Herman’s case is back in the Federal Courts having been rejected by the State Supreme Court. There will be an appeal to the 5th Circuit Court to review their ruling but no clear legal path has yet been re-charted for Albert. After a decade of working their way through the legal system, both on criminal and civil charges, the case has essentially been stalled and delayed by the State back to square one.

There is no doubt that the political climate is just about as bad as it has ever been and yet, it is also historically true that in the worst of times, unbelievable anomalies of justice find their way to the light of day. We urge all Angola 3 supporters to remember what brought them to this effort and join us in any way you can in raising your voices for the freedom of Herman and Albert based on innocence as you work for peace and social justice in your communities. We believe that a re-commitment to this case focusing on Herman and Albert’s innocence and the rank injustice of their cases can only shed more light on the workings of the system and help return the color of innocence to this case once again.

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