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Court Temporarily Blocks Release of ‘Angola 3’ Inmate

From 2008: How long is too long in solitary confinement? 3:05

ST. FRANCISVILLE, La. — A federal appeals court has temporarily blocked the release of Albert Woodfox, the last of the Louisiana inmates dubbed the Angola 3 by supporters protesting their long stints in solitary confinement.

Tuesday's order came a day after a U.S. district judge said Woodfox should be released immediately — and that the state cannot try him again for the killing of a prison guard.

His two previous convictions were overturned. Woodfox has long maintained his innocence in that death in 1972, when inmates were protesting conditions inside the Louisiana State Penitentiary.

Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell is appealing the judge's order, saying Woodfox is a killer who should remain locked up.

The appeals court order blocks the release of Woodfox until at least Friday.

Caldwell's request Tuesday came a day after U.S. District Judge James Brady issued a strongly worded ruling that "the only just remedy" is the immediate and unconditional release of Woodfox.

Brady said that the Black Panther organizer, now 68 years old, should not face a third trial in the stabbing death of a prison guard. His two previous convictions were overturned, and Woodfox has long maintained his innocence in that 1972 death, when inmates were protesting conditions inside the Louisiana State Penitentiary.