71-year-old Herman Wallace is now a free man after spending 41 years in solitary confinement.
U.S. District Chief Judge Brian Jackson denied Louisiana’s motion seeking to block his earlier order overturning Wallace’s 1974 murder conviction in the death of guard Brent Miller.
Jackson has also ordered a new trial due to women being constitutionally excluded from the grand jury that indicted Wallace.
Wallace’s attorneys said the freed prisoner left a correctional center in St. Gabriel by ambulance Tuesday evening and was expected to go to LSU Interim Hospital in New Orleans for treatment of advanced terminal liver cancer. “Tonight, Herman Wallace has left the walls of Louisiana prisons and will be able to receive the medical care that his advanced liver cancer requires,” his legal team said in a statement. “The record in this case makes clear that Mr. Wallace’s grand jury was improperly chosen in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of ‘the equal protection of the laws’ … and that the Louisiana courts, when presented with the opportunity to correct this error, failed to do so,” Jackson wrote.
Wallace, and two other men convicted in the 23-year-old guard’s slaying, came to be known as the “Angola 3.” He was serving a 50 year sentence when Miller was stabbed in 1972. The men were moved to isolation at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola.
Wallace is a free man, but he is quite ill. He ceased receiving treatment for terminal liver cancer a couple of weeks ago.
He plans to press charges challenging his “unconstitutional confinement for over 40 years.
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