In response to today’s announcement of the indictment of Albert Woodfox, Amnesty International USA Executive Director Steven W. Hawkins issued the following statement:
“Attorney General Caldwell has made it clear that he is hell-bent on keeping Albert Woodfox behind bars—despite the fact that his conviction has been overturned three times, and an appeals court has affirmed that decision. He should stop pursuing a campaign of vengeance by trying to re-indict a man who has already spent more than four decades in cruel confinement, after a legal process tainted with flaws.
"His public accusations that Albert is a ‘serial rapist’ not only cross ethical boundaries, but inflame the public against a man who has suffered unspeakable cruelty at the hands of the Louisiana authorities. Albert Woodfox has never been tried or convicted of rape, and the accusations are entirely absent from 4 decades of trial transcripts.
“A week before his birthday, Albert should be looking forward to a bail hearing; not facing another legal hurdle in a life that has been more than half-spent in solitary.
“Attorney General Caldwell took the same action against Herman Wallace after his release: re-indicting him while he was on his deathbed, suffering from liver cancer. It is time for him to stop standing in the way of justice.”
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Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning global movement of more than 7 million people campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.