Solitary confinement seems like a lonely place to be, but 40 years in solitary confinement would be a fate worse than death to many. This is the life that a terminally ill former black panther has lived for the past four decades, all alone in solitary confinement, according to AP via Yahoo News on Oct. 2.
Herman Wallace, who was put in prison over 40 years ago for armed robbery, was very active in protests within the prison when he first arrived. He was an inmate at one of the most violent prisons, Angola Prison, which was built on the land of a previous slave plantation in Louisiana.
The prison had all white guards when Wallace entered the institution after a conviction for armed robbery. His protests against prison conditions include peaceful sit-ins, which was the weapon of choice during that decade.
Wallace was sentenced to life in prison in 1974 for allegedly stabbing a white prison guard to death with two other inmates. The charges against him at the time “rested on incoherent testimony of four prison inmates who later recanted their statements."
Neither his fingerprints or those of the other two men accused of this murder were not found at the scene. A witness came forward and stated that Wallace was at the other side of the prison working at the time of the murder. Wallace become known as one of the "Angola 3" who were the three men believed to have killed that white prison guard.
A judge reversed his 1974 murder conviction on Tuesday and set him free. Wallace was taken by ambulance to a hospital where he can now receive the proper treatment for his liver cancer. The 72-year-old is dying from this disease. Wallace spent 40 years all by himself in solitary confinement which again, would be a fate worse than death for many.