The dispute over the court-ordered release of Albert Woodfox, the last of the Angola 3 remaining behind bars, hit the Louisiana House on Thursday.
U.S. District Judge James Brady ordered Woodfox’s release as well as bar his further prosecution in the 1972 stabbing death of a Louisiana State Penitentiary correctional officer.
State Rep. Patricia Smith wanted the House to ask Attorney General Buddy Caldwell to drop an appeal of Brady’s ruling to the U.S. Fifth Circuit of Appeals.
“I do think it’s unfair what’s occurred,” said Smith, D-Baton Rouge. “I believe justice is supposed to take over.”
Smith said Woodfox has spent four decades in solitary confinement. Woodfox’s unanimous 1973 and 1982 murder convictions in Brent Miller’s stabbing death were overturned. She said most of the witnesses have died.
But the House clearly didn’t like Smith’s idea. Only 18 representatives voted for the House resolution asking Caldwell to bow out while 65 opposed it.
“I’m here for the family. We should not let any federal judge come into our state and tell us how to administer justice,” said state Rep. Kenny Havard, R-Jackson.