Prosecutors say judge went too far in 'Angola Three' case
LOUISIANA- 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.