The Day After Herman Wallace’s Release: Today’s Democracy Now! and more
Watch the tear jerker episode of Democracy Now! Below is an excerpt from the show:
AMY GOODMAN: For more, we’re joined by one of the people who met Herman Wallace to deliver the news he would be released: fellow Angola Three member Robert King. Until Tuesday night, King was the only freed member of the Angola Three. He spent 29 years in solitary confinement for a murder he did not commit. He was released in 2001 after his conviction was overturned.
The third member of the Angola Three, Albert Woodfox, remains in prison at the David Wade Correctional Center in Homer, Louisiana. In recent months, he says he’s been subjected to strip searches and anal cavity searches as often as six times a day.
Robert King joins us from Austin, just back from visiting Wallace. In fact, he was the one who delivered the news to Herman Wallace that his conviction had been overturned.
Here in New York, we’re joined by Herman Wallace’s defense attorney, George Kendall.
But first we go directly to the New Orleans hospital where Herman Wallace lies. We’re joined by Jackie Sumell, the artist behind Herman’s House. She joined us on Monday in studio in New Orleans when Democracy Now! was broadcasting from there, broadcasting about the case of Herman Wallace, then still in prison. Now she joins us by phone at the bedside of Herman Wallace from the LSU—Louisiana State University—Medical Center, where Herman Wallace is now.
Jackie, can you talk about Herman’s condition at this point?
JACKIE SUMELL: Yeah, good morning, Amy. Herman has taken a turn for the worse. At about 3:00 in the morning, I got a phone call from one of the other supporters, who said, “You should come in.” The doctors aren’t sure if his kidneys are also failing, as well as his liver. So I’ve been with him since 3:00. He’s not very—he’s able to speak a word, like if you move him around, he’ll yell or indicate that he’s uncomfortable, but he doesn’t seem to be cognizant in any other way. Yeah, it’s a really intense time right now. And it’s myself and a few other long-term supporters and his sister that are bedside with him.
AMY GOODMAN: Jackie, did he understand yesterday at the prison that he was being released?
JACKIE SUMELL: You’d have to ask George and King whether or not he understood it at the prison. I know that he did understand it last night when we had about a hundred supporters cheering him on, welcoming him home with banners and signs, chanting “Power to the people!” He was very cognizant then. You know, this turn for the worse happened, like I said, at about 2:30, 3:00 this morning.
AMY GOODMAN: Let’s turn to Robert King, another member of the Angola Three. Robert King is free after 29 years. Albert Woodfox remains in prison. And, of course, as we said, Herman Wallace, in a complete surprise move of a federal judge, had his conviction overturned yesterday with a demand for his immediate release, which happened last night. Robert King, you were in prison with Herman Wallace visiting him to say your final goodbye as he lay dying of liver cancer. You delivered the news to him about the overturning of his conviction. How did Herman respond?
From the A3 Coalition:
Yesterday was truly an amazing day! We want to thank all of our supporters and we will have more photos and information soon. Until then, we want to share with you the two ‘update’ posts we released yesterday (partially posted at FDL as followup comments). The first reported on Judge Jackson’s second order for Herman’s release, and the second was the announcement of Herman’s actual release. Links to a wide range of media coverage are also included. We are also featuring several photos from last night taken by A3 supporters, posted at Flickr and Indybay. Also be sure to view the touching photos of Herman taken by the Times-Picayune.
MEDIA COVERAGE: Oct. 2 episode of Democracy Now (embedded above) II NY Times II CNN II Times-Picayune (with photos of Herman’s release) II NBC II ABC / AP II South China Morning Post / AFP II NY Daily News / Reuters II Huffington Post Live TV (w/ Robert King) II WAFB CBS News Baton Rouge (video) II CBS National News II UPI II Catholic Online (w/ WGNO ABC video of Herman’s arrive at LSU) II The Independent, UK II Medical Daily
MEDIA COVERAGE: Times Picayune–Herman Wallace must be released immediately or state will face contempt charge, judge rules II CNN
(Posted at 7:05 pm EST) After this morning’s bombshell ruling by Judge Jackson overturning Herman’s convictionand ordering his immediate release, his legal team has spent the day trying to convince Louisiana officials to do as the Court requires and let him go free.
Just moments ago, Judge Jackson issued an order (view the court document here) denying the State’s desperate attempt at keeping Herman behind bars, again ordered his release, and cautioned Louisiana officials that their failure to release him immediately would put them in Contempt of Court. We will update you as soon as we hear any more news.
(Posted at 9:15 pm EST) After a long, dramatic day, we are humbled to report that the indomitable, irrepressible Herman Wallace has just been released after spending over 4 decades in solitary confinement.
Even after Judge Jackson’s late evening ruling denying the State’s attempt at a stay and again ordering his immediate release, the State continued to stall. Once notified of the continued delay, Judge Jackson stoically refused to leave his quarters until Herman was released, and just minutes ago, Herman was driven away from the prison a free man, awake and able to revel in this miraculous turn of events.
The State will likely still appeal to the 5th Circuit and attempt to have the order reversed, and may even re-indict him, but it seems that Herman, against all odds, has won.
Now we must resolve collectively to harness this rediscovered energy and excitement and dedicate ourselves to getting Albert the same result without delay.
If you happen to be in New Orleans, supporters are holding a vigil tonight starting in just a few moments at 8pm. Everyone is welcome to come and celebrate this incredible news. Coliseum Square was the original location, but it has been changed to LSU, outside the hospital emergency room, at 2021 Perdido St New Orleans, LA 70112.
With awe, bewilderment, and a renewed optimism, we will keep supporters updated.
EVEN MORE MEDIA COVERAGE: Amnesty International II Solitary Watch II The Atlantic II The Advocate II The Times-Picayune II NOLA Defender II BBC II SF Chronicle / Associated Press II Think Progress II Democracy Now! II News One II UK Telegraph / AFP II UK Daily Mail II UPI II teleSUR (in Spanish)