POLITICAL PRISONER UPDATES

By LeiLani Dowell, NYC chapter of FIST

Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox<br> spent 30 years in solidarity confinement<br> for a crime they did’t commit.
Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox
spent 30 years in solidarity confinement
for a crime they did’t commit.

Albert Woodfox conviction overturned!

A victory has been won in the case of the Angola Three, political prisoners and former Black Panthers who were convicted on trumped-up charges in the death of a prison guard. On July 8, a federal judge overturned the conviction of Albert Woodfox, one of the two still remaining in prison.

Woodfox spent more than three decades in solitary confinement in the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, La.—a notorious plantation where Black prisoners are made to work like slaves. In March, however, he and Herman Wallace were moved to a maximum-security dormitory with other prisoners after Rep. John Conyers, chairperson of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, visited the prison to investigate the case.

Woodfox’s conviction was overturned on the grounds that two of his lawyers failed to raise objections to questionable prosecutor testimony. He now faces the possibility that prosecutors will ask for a retrial.

Meanwhile, Wallace continues to appeal his conviction. The third member of the Angola Three, Robert King Wilkerson, was freed in 2001 after his conviction was overturned.

Demand effective medical treatment for Peltier

The Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee is requesting that Peltier supporters contact prison officials to demand that Peltier, who has diabetes, be allowed to have his own diabetes kit so that he can accurately monitor and control his condition.

Peltier, a participant in the American Indian Movement, was wrongfully convicted in 1976 of the death of two Federal Bureau of Investigation agents in a shoot-out at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. He has been imprisoned ever since, despite revelations of coerced testimonies, fabricated and suppressed evidence, and federal officials stating that it is unknown who fired the shots or what role Peltier may have played.

The infirmary at Lewisburg Penitentiary, where Peltier is being imprisoned, has a general diabetes kit for all prisoners. The committee has raised concerns that due to the embedded memory in the device, Peltier could be receiving false readings. Furthermore, Peltier has reported that there are often no medical personnel on hand when he goes to the infirmary, and he must return over and over until someone is there to assist him.

In addition, all the prisoners at Lewisburg had been on lockdown for five days as of July 7. For Peltier, this means no access to the infirmary, making it all the more important he have access to a diabetes testing kit at the pharmacy; as his committee has requested.

Supporters are asked to contact: Warden Bledsoe, USP Lewisburg, 2400 Robert F. Miller Dr., Lewisburg, PA 17837; phone 570-523-1251; fax 570-522-7745, e-mail lew/execassistant@bop.gov.

For more information, visit http://www.whoisleonardpeltier.info.

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