The decision to overturn the conviction of a terminally ill man held in solitary confinement for more than 41 years after a flawed trial is a positive step but long overdue after four decades of injustice, Amnesty International said.
“The case of Herman Wallace is a tragic example of ‘justice’ gone wrong in the USA. Finally a federal court has acknowledged some of the unfairness surrounding this case. However this sadly comes too late for lasting benefit as he is at death’s door with terminal cancer,” said Tessa Murphy, USA Campaigner at Amnesty International.
“The state must not now try to block his release.”
Herman Wallace, 71, was placed in solitary confinement in Louisiana State prison after being convicted in 1974 of the murder of prison guard Brent Miller.
Today’s ruling focused on one aspect of his trial: the systematic exclusion of women from the grand jury. Many other irregularities have been raised over the years but have been rejected by the state courts.