The Latest: Lawyer cites 'Angola Three' inmate's age, health

AP News
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Posted: Sep 02, 2015 11:09 AM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The latest on arguments in the case of the last incarcerated member of the "Angola Three" (all times local):

9:50 a.m.

A lawyer says prosecutors should be barred from trying longtime Louisiana prison inmate Albert Woodfox a third time in a 1972 murder because of his age and poor health, the death of critical defense witnesses and his decades in solitary confinement despite having two previous convictions tossed.

George Kendall argued on Woodfox's behalf before a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

The judges gave no indication when they will rule.

Arguing for the state, attorney Richard Stanley acknowledged that Woodfox's two precious convictions in the death of a prison guard were tossed due to problems with the selection of grand juries. But he said, a federal judge went too far in June when he ordered Woodfox's release and an end to the prosecution.

Stanley said the state took the proper response: obtaining a third indictment.

9:30 a.m.

Louisiana prosecutors say a judge went too far when he barred the state from trying longtime state inmate Albert Woodfox for the 43-year-old murder of a prison guard and ordering the inmate's immediate release.

The lawyers made the argument Wednesday as they presented their case to a federal appeals court to block Woodfox's release from prison.

Woodfox is the last still-incarcerated member of a group that supporters have dubbed the "Angola Three" for their decades-long stays in isolation at the Louisiana Penitentiary at Angola and other state prisons.

Lawyer Richard Stanley acknowledged that Woodfox's two previous convictions in the 1972 death of the prison guard were tossed out because of problems with the selection of grand juries that indicted him. But, he said, the state made the proper response: obtaining a third indictment.

In June, a federal judge ordered Woodfox's release and barred a third trial. But the state still wants to try him a third time.

Arguments were heard Wednesday at the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals. The three-judge appeals panel gave no indication when it would rule.

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5 a.m.

Louisiana attorneys are set to ask a federal appeals court to block the release of longtime state inmate Albert Woodfox and allow prosecutors to try him a third time in the 1972 death of a prison guard.

Woodfox is the last still-incarcerated member of a group supporters dubbed the "Angola Three" for their decades-long stays in isolation at the Louisiana Penitentiary at Angola and other state prisons.

A federal judge ordered Woodfox's release in June and barred a third trial, saying there was no way the state could retry Woodfox fairly. But the state took the case to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, where arguments are set for Wednesday morning.

It was unclear when the three-judge panel will rule.