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Angola 3 Member Wins Court Order

Judge cites racial bias in the case of Albert Woodfox, who's been in solitary for more than 40 years.

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Apart from challenging the murder convictions of Woodfox and Wallace, the Angola Three's case highlights what prison reformers describe as the lack of standards in the United States for restricting how long and for what reasons the incarcerated can be placed in solitary confinement.

Woodfox was scheduled to meet yesterday with two New York City-based attorneys who are part of his legal team. But he has canceled visits with other supporters, said attorney Angela Allen-Bell, a professor at Southern University Law Center, because stricter visitation rules imposed roughly two months ago make it hard to receive visitors.

"He has to wear leg irons. His hands are shackled and cuffed. One of my visits with him might last four hours, and with others coming in simultaneously during the day, he may be sitting in that posture for seven or eight hours. It's more than he can physically bear," said Allen-Bell, a member of Free the Angola 3, a coalition of lawyers, human rights groups, grassroots activists and benefactors who have paid the men's legal fees.

Allen-Bell continued: "Caldwell's appeal is predictable ... and the state of Louisiana has a long history of prosecutorial misconduct. We are committed to making that unacceptable and to making sure this case represents change in Louisiana, and that it teaches America that corrupt prosecutors have to be held accountable."

Freelancer Katti Gray specializes in covering criminal justice, health care and higher education. She is a contributing editor for the Crime Report at the Center on Media, Crime and Justice in New York City.

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