A federal judge ordered Louisiana to release one of the “Angola 3” inmates, freeing Albert Woodfox from a maximum security cell for the first time in 37 years, reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Woodfox, 61, awaits a third trial for the 1972 murder of a state prison guard during a tumultuous time when Woodfox and others were organizing as Black Panthers to end inmate-gang rapes and other violence. The case was featured in a recent series on National Public Radio.
U.S. District Court Judge James Brady said Woodfox has the right to freedom while awaiting the state’s appeal. Brady had overturned Woodfox’s conviction for Miller’s murder and ordered the state to either retry or release Woodfox within 120 days. Prison Warden Burl Cain said Woodfox is a danger to the community “because he is not a rehabilitated prisoner. He will be a predator when the opportunity comes his way.” “I still know that he is still trying to practice Black Pantherism, and I still would not want him walking around my prison because he would organize the young new inmates,” Cain said.