Prisoner says state conducts illegal body searches
NEW ORLEANS - Lawyers for a Louisiana prison inmate whose conviction in the 1972 death of a guard was overturned say he has been subjected to illegal "body cavity searches" while he awaits the next step in his prosecution.
The inmate is 67-year-old Albert Woodfox, one of the prisoners supporters have dubbed the "Angola Three," owing to their long stretches in solitary confinement at the state penitentiary in Angola.
State officials say the searches are necessary to maintain security and that Woodfox is not treated any differently than other maximum security prisoners.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Wednesday on the body search issue.
A 5th Circuit decision is pending on state efforts to reinstate Woodfox's murder conviction.