2 Oct 2013

Prisoner to be freed after 40 years in solitary

1:46 pm on 2 October 2013

A judge in Louisiana has overturned the murder conviction of a prisoner who has spent 40 years in solitary confinement.

Judge Brian Jackson ruled the conviction of Herman Wallace in 1974 was unconstitutional and ordered him freed.

Wallace, 71, was diagnosed with liver cancer this year and has weeks to live.

He is one of three men convicted of the murder of a prison guard in 1972. Known as the Angola Three, they have maintained their innocence.

One of the three, Robert King, was released in 2001. Wallace and another man, Albert Woodfox, remained incarcerated.

The BBC reports they have been the object of an international campaign arguing they were wrongly convicted of the killing because of their association with the Black Panther Party.

Baton Rouge prosecutor Hillar Moore was quoted by the New Orleans Times-Picayune as saying he would appeal against Wallace's release.