Hundreds gathered Saturday in New Orleans to remember Angola 3 member Herman Wallace as he was laid to rest. Wallace spent nearly 42 years in solitary confinement before he was released on October 1 and died three days later, a free man, after a judge overturned his conviction on constitutional grounds. This is fellow Angola 3 member Robert King, released in 2001, speaking at Wallace’s funeral.
Robert King: “It is often said that I was the only freed member of the Angola 3, and that is true. But if someone would also say that Herman was the second freed member of the Angola 3, I would also agree with that. And even though it was short-lived, Herman died with a clean slate.”
Wallace would have turned 72 on Sunday. He and fellow Angola 3 member Albert Woodfox were convicted of the 1972 murder of a prison guard without any physical evidence. A fingerprint found at the scene was not theirs. A group of lawmakers led by Rep. John Conyers introduced a tribute to Wallace in the Congressional Record, saying: “Because of Mr. Wallace’s work, those of us in Congress who have called for his freedom will dedicate our future efforts to ensuring that no one anywhere in the United States is subjected to the unjust and inhumane treatment that he has endured.” Amnesty International has now launched a campaign calling for Woodfox’s release. The final imprisoned member of the Angola 3 has had his conviction overturned three times, but he remains in solitary confinement at the David Wade Correctional Center in Homer, Louisiana, where he is subjected to strip searches and anal cavity searches as many as six times a day.