Former Black Panther Herman Wallace -- the 71-year-old member the Angola Three who has been held in the Louisiana penitentiary for 40 years -- is in his final battle for freedom facing terminal cancer with only weeks to live.
Wallace, along with two others, was implicated in the murder of a prison guard in 1972, although forensic evidence has since strongly suggested their innocence.
Only one of the Angola 3 charged with the murder has been freed. Robert King was released after 29 years in solitary confinement when his conviction was overturned in 2001. Meanwhile a federal judge has twice ordered the release of incarcerated Albert Woodfox, who nonetheless remains held in solitary confinement under Louisiana's authority. Wallace was ordered to remain in jail -- effectively until his death -- by a federal magistrate judge last week.
The Angola 3 and their supporters have consistently maintained their innocence in the guard's murder and argue that their convictions and isolation are punishment for their political organizing.
The Guardian reported:
His attorneys now have until 30 September to give their response to a federal district judge. George Kendall, Wallace's lawyer, told the Guardian that he remains optimistic: "We are hopeful that this meritorious habeus petition will be reviewed without delay by a federal judge," he said.