A former “Angola 3” inmate died just days after he was released from a Louisiana prison for a crime he claimed he didn’t commit. Herman Wallace’s legal team announced his death on Friday.
Wallace was one of three inmates who protested what they claimed were injustices at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. He spent decades in solitary confinement after he was convicted of killing a guard at Angola in 1974.
However, the conviction was overturned and a judge ordered the 71-year-old, who was dying from liver cancer, to be released. Wallace left the prison on Tuesday evening by ambulance.
The former Angola 3 inmate died peacefully in his sleep, according to his legal team. In an emailed statement, the team added:
“Herman endured what very few of us can imagine, and he did it with grace, dignity, and empathy in the end. Although his freedom was much too brief, it meant the world to Herman to spend these last three days surrounded by the love of his family and friends.”
According to the statement, one of Herman Wallace’s final comments was, “I am free. I am free.” They added that he had “no hate in his heart” when he died, “despite the cruelty [he] was shown.”
While Herman Wallace was released from prison on Tuesday, a newly convened grand jury re-indicted the former Angola 3 member on murder charges. West Feliciana District Attorney Samuel D’Aquilla confirmed the move on Friday morning, though no court would have been set until December. Wallace wasn’t expected to live that long.
Robert King, who was part of the “three,” was exonerated and released from prison in 2001. He spent 29 years in solitary confinement. The third member, Albert Woodfox, is currently incarcerated at David Wade Correctional Center in Homer. He is appealing his conviction as well.
Herman Wallace, along with being part of the Angola 3, was also linked to the Black Panthers.