Amnesty International: Decades of Solitary Confinement at Louisiana’s Angola Prison Amounts to Torture
Interviews with Everette Thompson, southeast regional director of Amnesty USA, and Robert King, one of the Angola 3, conducted by Melinda Tuhus
April 17 marks exactly 40 years that two inmates in the Louisiana State Penitentiary, known as Angola prison, have been held in solitary confinement for the murder of a prison guard, Brent Miller. Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox were serving sentences for separate armed robbery convictions when they formed a prison chapter of the Black Panther Party to fight for better prison conditions, including ending segregation and systematic rape. They organized strikes and sit-ins to press their cause. When Robert Hillary King, formerly Robert King Wilkerson, entered the prison shortly after the murder of the guard, he was linked to the crime through his association with the Black Panthers and investigated but never charged. Supporters refer to the men as the "Angola 3." King spent 29 years of his 31 years in prison in solitary confinement, before a 1973 conviction was overturned and he plead guilty to a lesser charge. He was released in 2001.