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Angola’s Two

June 6, 2011

Okay, so I know it has been a while since I have posted something new. I guess that is what happens when you become distracted in life. Now that I’m back in full force, I wanted to bring attention to the Angola 2: Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace.

For close to 40 years, Mr. Woodfox and Mr. Wallace have been held in solitary confinement. Here’s what a typical day is like for these two gentlemen.

The men are confined to their cells, which measure 2 x 3 meters, for 23 hours a day. When the weather permits, they are allowed outside three times a week for an hour of solitary recreation in a small outdoor cage. For four hours a week, they are allowed to leave their cells to shower or walk, alone, along the cell unit corridor.

They have restricted access to books, newspapers and television. For the past four decades they have never been allowed to work or to have access to education. Social interaction has been restricted to occasional visits from friends and family and limited telephone calls.

Originally, they were arrested for armed robbery but were convicted of murdering a prison guard. However, it appears that “the main eyewitness was bribed by prison officials into giving statements against the men and that the state withheld evidence about the perjured testimony of another inmate witness” and another witness “later retracted his testimony.”

So if it is true that Mr. Woodfox and Mr. Wallace did not commit the crime of which they are accused, what we then have here is two men who have been severely punished for the past 36 years–and as a result, their health is deteriorating. Does it show a flaw in our legal system? Absolutely. Can we fix this problem now by removing them from Closed Cell Restriction? Definitely.

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