imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Albert Woodfox: 41 Years in Solitary Unjustly

by Stephen Lendman Monday, Nov. 24, 2014 at 2:54 AM
lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

police state

Albert Woodfox: 41 Years in Solitary Unjustly

by Stephen Lendman

One of this writer's earliest articles was titled The US Gulag Prison System: The Shame of the Nation and Crime Against Humanity.

Around half of all inmates are incarcerated for nonviolent offenses. Half of those drug related. Mostly simple possession.

Just societies call these offenses misdemeanors. Punishable by warnings and/or small fines. Rare imprisonments. Never longterm.

America's gulag is world's largest. One of its harshest. Blacks and Latinos suffer most. So do Muslims. Guilty of being in America at the wrong time. Scapegoated unjustly.

Thousands of political prisoners are wrongfully incarcerated. Others endure longterm solitary confinement. Barbaric by any standard.

Social psychologist Hans Toch coined the term "isolation panic." Based on symptoms he observed firsthand.

Including panic, rage, a sense of total loss of control, emotional breakdown, regressive behavior, and self-mutilation.

Over time causing severe anxiety. Panic attacks. Lethargy. Insomnia. Dizziness.

Irrational anger. Confusion. Social withdrawal. Memory and appetite loss.

Profound despair and hopelessness. Suicidal thoughts. Paranoia. Inability ever to live normally outside confinement.

Longterm isolation causes irreversible psychological damage. What no society should inflict on anyone for any reason.

What no responsible lawmakers should allow. Incompatible with fundamental human rights. Brutalizing torture by any standard.

Isolation in windowless cells 23 hour a day longterm causes madness. Even the strongest-willed break.

Try it for 24 hours with enough food and water. Imagine the desperation to get out. Imagine it for many years or life.

Traumatized longterm isolated prisoner numbers exceed all psychiatric hospital populations combined.

Turning otherwise normal inmates into zombies. Making them feel like they're buried alive.

America's 8th Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishments. International law bans torture in all forms for any reason with no allowed exceptions.

Solitary Watch calls isolation "one of the most pressing (unaddressed) domestic human rights issues in America today. (O)ne of the most invisible."

Affecting many thousands. Precise numbers aren't known. Little data is collected. Many states don't compile it.

Over 25,000 supermax inmates endure long-term isolation. Under constant closed-circuit TV surveillance.

Many thousands more in federal, state, and local Secure Housing Units. Restricted Housing Units. Special Management Units. Other solitary conditions with little or no outside contact.

Ordinary people abused unjustly without cause. For any reason or none at all. Serving no legitimate penological purpose whatever.

Mentally ill inmates are punished. So are children needing protection. Gays. Lesbians. Transsexuals. Muslims for praying to the wrong God. For being in America at the wrong time.

Mostly young men of color. Albert Woodfox unjustly victimized for over 40 years. Buried alive.

Longer than any prisoner in America. Perhaps in US history.

One of the so-called "Angola Three." Robert King freed in 2001.

Herman Wallace died days after release from over 41 years in solitary. He and Woodfox wrongfully charged, prosecuted and convicted of killing white Louisiana State Penitentiary (LSP) prison guard Brent Miller.

Based solely on another inmate's testimony. Bribed to lie. In return for special treatment. Forensic crime scene evidence never properly analyzed.

Other evidence ignored or lost. Another inmate later confessed to the killing. It didn't matter. KIng was blamed but never charged. Woodfox and Wallace judged guilty by accusation.

Targeted for their activism. They founded the Black Panther Party Angola chapter.

Organized other inmates. Worked to improve prison conditions. Through nonviolent hunger and work strikes. Paid dearly for doing the right thing.

The Louisiana ACLU calls LSP America's "most abhorrent in terms of violence and horrible living conditions."

Complaints include guard beatings. Sexual assaults. Other abuses amounting to torture. Arbitrary solitary confinement.

Overcrowding. Poor medical care. Denying it altogether. Mistreating mentally ill inmates. Squalid conditions. Denial of access to attorneys.

Angola always was hellish. Called America's worst prison for good reason. Three-fourth of its prisoners black. Brutally abused. Treated like slaves.

Treated horrifically. Stripped searched up to six times daily. Including anal cavity searches. At most getting an hour daily to shower or walk along the cellblock.

In terms of acreage, LSP is America's largest prison. A maximum security one. Holding over 5,000 inmates. With about 1,800 staff members.

Its 18,000 acres once operated as a slave plantation. Today in new form. Technically legal under the 13th Amendment, stating:

"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

America is no democracy. Equity and justice are convenient illusions. Maximum security harshness is brutal. Longterm isolation its most extreme form.

For virtually any reason. Including violent acts, possessing contraband, illicit drug use, disobeying orders, using profanity, or hunger striking for prisoner rights

Lawyers representing Woodfox and Wallace said they endured physical injury. Cruel and unusual punishment. Causing "severe mental damage."

Medical reports show both men suffer from arthritis, hypertension, kidney failure, memory impairment, insomnia, claustrophobia, anxiety, and depression.

Wallace died from liver cancer days after release. Woodfox suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure and hepatitis.

Both men endured extreme cruel and unusual punishment. So do other isolated prisoners. Nothing matches being buried alive longterm.

Neither man killed prison guard Brent Miller. Years spent seeking justice were in vain.

Wallace was a model prisoner. So is Woodfox. They should have been paroled decades ago. They never should have been convicted of a crime they didn't commit.

On November 20, the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals New unanimously overturned Woodfox's conviction.

Because of racially biased grand jury selection. For his 1998 retrial. His original 1973 conviction was overturned. Because of counsel incompetence.

In 2008, a federal judge overturned his second conviction. On similar grounds. The ruling then reversed. Because federal law restricts state court decision reviews.

In 2005, a federal magistrate called longterm isolation Woodfox and Wallace endured "far beyond the pale." Beyond "anything even remotely comparable in the annals of American jurisprudence."

It didn't matter. Louisiana's attorney general at the time outrageously called Woodfox "the most dangerous person on the planet."

Despite no credible evidence linking him to Miller's killing, state authorities lied. Insisting their case is solid. Intending a retrial.

Despite most witnesses able to testify earlier now dead. Miller's widow believes he's innocent. Like Wallace. Saying:

"If they did not do this - and I believe that they didn't - they are living a nightmare." In the land of the free. America the beautiful.

Woodfox is 67 years old. In poor health. Imprisonment took its toll. Isolation making it infinitely worse.

It's up for grabs whether Woodfox will ever be free at last. Nothing can compensate for his longterm horrific treatment. Unjust by any standard.

In March 2014, Amnesty International (AI) headlined "Free Albert Woodfox," saying:

"After (over) four decades of cruel treatment, there is only one just and humane action that the Louisiana authorities can take."

"Raise your voice with Teenie (wife of slain prison guard Brent Miller) and demand that Louisiana authorities free Albert Woodfox today."

Publishing a message it urged others send to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Attorney General James Caldwell, headlined "End the Injustice. Remove Woodfox from Isolation, saying:

"More than a year has passed since Judge James Brady of the U.S. District Court overturned Albert Woodfox's conviction."

"Today, nearly 41 years after he was first placed in solitary confinement, Albert is still behind bars in isolation. I am writing today to ask you to stop standing in the way of justice."

"Attorney General Caldwell, I urge you to withdraw the State's appeal against Judge Brady's February 2013 ruling that overturned Albert Woodfox's conviction."

"Secretary Leblanc, I ask that you immediately remove Albert from isolation and end his inhumane treatment in prison."

Over the years, Louisiana authorities have often repeated that Brent Miller's family is due justice. I have no doubt that this is true, and I have tremendous sympathy for Officer Miller's family and friends."  

"However, I do not believe that confining Albert Woodfox to a cell the size of a parking space is just - particularly in light of the legal irregularities that lead to his conviction."

"The litigation surrounding Albert Woodfox's case has spanned four decades and includes two flawed trials."

"His conviction has been overturned once by a state court and twice by a federal court, underscoring concerns about the fairness of the legal process. No physical evidence ties Mr. Woodfox to Officer Miller's murder."

"Teenie Rogers, the widow of Brent Miller, doesn't believe that she or Brent have had justice. After reviewing all the evidence in the case she believes that both Albert Woodfox and the late Mr. Herman Wallace are innocent of Brent Miller's murder."

"Albert Woodfox has been kept in isolation for decades, in conditions that the UN United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture condemns as torture."

"He has been denied meaningful social contact and access to rehabilitation programs. Such conditions violate minimum international standards for humane treatment."

After subjecting Albert Woodfox to cruel and inhuman conditions for decades, despite a flawed conviction, there is only one just and humane action that you can take."

"Please remove Albert Woodfox from solitary confinement, and withdraw the appeal against the US District Court's ruling. Allow him his freedom."

Justice he's been long denied.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy