by: Maya Schenwar, t r u t h o u t | Report
Due to endless litigation, conflicting legal technicalities, or inadequate transitional facilities, prisoners who are innocent may find themselves behind bars indefinitely.
Former Black Panther Albert Woodfox, convicted of murdering a prison guard with two other inmates, has spent the last 35 years in prison, most of it in solitary confinement. Last month, Woodfox's conviction was overturned by a federal judge. However, despite being cleared of charges, Woodfox remains incarcerated, as the Louisiana attorney general's office persists in challenging the judge's decision.
After repeated reexaminations of his case and an intervention by US House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, who called Woodfox's continued incarceration a "tragic miscarriage of justice," evidence against Woodfox is practically nonexistent. Nevertheless, he remains embroiled in litigation, and until the prosecutors have had their fill, he will stay behind bars.
Pam LaBorde, spokeswoman for the Louisiana Department of Corrections, told Truthout that the attorney general would be appealing Woodfox's exoneration. She said that she does not know when a trial will take place, adding, "We're very early in the process."