Black Panther Freed After 41 Years in Solitary
Judge overturns conviction for murder of La. prison guard
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2013 2:38 AM CDT
A view of the front entrance of the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, La.    (AP file photo/Judi Bottoni)

(Newser) – Herman Wallace is a free man after 41 years in solitary confinement in Louisiana prisons—but he may just have days to live. Wallace, one of the "Angola Three" found guilty of the 1972 murder of a guard, was diagnosed with advanced liver cancer this year, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. He was released after a judge ruled that his murder conviction was unconstitutional and denied the state's request to overturn the order. The 71-year-old's lawyers say he is now bound for a hospital in New Orleans.

Wallace has always denied killing the guard, saying he was targeted because he helped set up a chapter of the Black Panther Party at the notorious Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola and led strikes for better conditions, the AP reports. "Tragically, this step toward justice has come as Herman is dying from cancer with only days or hours left to live," an Amnesty International spokesman says. "No ruling can erase the cruel, inhuman and degrading prison conditions he endured for more than 41 years." One of the two other men convicted of the guard's killing was released in 2001, while the other is still in solitary confinement.

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Showing 3 of 16 comments
Oct 5, 2013 12:32 PM CDT
The cruel and inhuman punishment of this man beggars belief. Even if he isn't innocent, (Which he has never waivered from insisting he is.), keeping a human being locked in solitary confinement for over 40 years is completely inhumane. To treat any living creature like this is disgusting. The USA should be deeply ashamed that it allows any human being to be treated this way.
Oct 3, 2013 4:41 PM CDT
wow most people get 15 yrs which equals about 8 altogether. So sad, I am sure many other people are abused this way too. after 41 yrs he still says he didn't do it? something smells
Oct 3, 2013 12:01 PM CDT
If his liver cancer is so advanced, why was it only diagnosed recently?