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Herman Wallace, Who Spent 41 Years In Solitary Confinement, Dies Days After Being Freed
October 4, 2013
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Wallace in 2008 (Photo: The Advocate/AP)

Herman Wallace, a 71-year-old who spent 41 years of his life in solitary confinement, has died of liver cancer less than a week after a judge released him from prison and granted him a new trial, The Guardian reports.

Wallace, along with two other men, Robert Hillary King and Albert Woodfox, was convicted in the 1972 stabbing death of 23-year-old prison guard Brent Miller. Wallace was serving a 25-year sentence for armed robbery at the time.

The convicted men would come to be known as the "Angola Three" because of their incarceration at Louisiana State Penitentiary, aka Angola Prison. 

After being convicted of the stabbing death, all three were moved into solitary confinement cells. Robert King spent 29 years in solitary, before being released in 2001 when his conviction was overturned. Woodfox remains behind bars in solitary confinement today.

U.S. district Judge Brian Jackson ordered Wallace released one week ago on the grounds that women were unconstitutionally excluded from the jury at the trial where he was convicted. He died in his sleep Thursday night at the home of a friend, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

Wallace's counsel said some of his last words were, "I am free. I am free."

The "Angola Three" have been the subjects of a couple of documentaries. 2010's In The Land Of The Free was a UK production, telling the story of the three men and the system that put them behind bars.

Another, Canadian-produced doc focuses on Wallace specifically. Herman's House is a feature documentary directed by Toronto-based Angad Singh Bhalla.

It tells the story of what happened when a young art student named Jackie Sumell wrote Wallace a letter asking this question: "What kind of house does a man who has lived in a six-foot-by-nine-foot cell for over 30 years dream of?"

Check out the trailer for that film below: 

Via The Guardian


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