Former 'Angola 3' inmate dies days after release
POSTED: Friday, October 4, 2013 - 1:00pm
UPDATED: Friday, October 4, 2013 - 3:26pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (CNN) — Just days after he was released from a Louisiana prison for a murder he says he didn't commit, Herman Wallace has died, his legal team said Friday.
“Herman endured what very few of us can imagine, and he did it with grace, dignity, and empathy to the end. He remained committed to standing up for himself and his fellow prisoners, including Albert Woodfox who is still kept in harsh solitary confinement conditions in a Louisiana prison. Despite the cruelty Herman was shown, he had no hatred in his heart.
“Although his freedom was much too brief, it meant the world to Herman to spend these last three days surrounded by the love of his family and friends. One of the final things that Herman said to us was, ‘I am free. I am free.’"
Wallace -- one of the "Angola 3" inmates who tried to point out what they said were injustices at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, died Friday morning at age 71 after a fight with liver cancer, his legal team said.
Wallace, who spent decades in solitary confinement after being convicted in the 1974 killing of a prison guard, was released Tuesday after a judge vacated his murder conviction and sentence.
The release came hours after U.S. District Chief Judge Brian A. Jackson in Baton Rouge said that women were systematically excluded from the grand jury that indicted Wallace in the 1972 slaying of guard Brent Miller at the Angola prison.
Wallace, who was serving an armed robbery sentence at the time of Miller's death, and other witnesses claimed Wallace was in another part of the prison when Miller was killed, his legal team said.