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A letter from the political prisoner Herman Wallace - 36 years in solitary.

herman wallace | 26.12.2008 23:01 | Social Struggles

A letter from Herman Wallace of the Angola 3 about being held in the dungeon at Louisana State Prison. Herman is a black panther who has spent the last 36 years in solitary confinment for his revolutionary beliefs.

Herman Wallace v Burl Cain, Warden
November 24, 2008

This is a request for administrative remedy emergency.


On November 13, 2008, I, Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox were
escorted to the prison dungeons and were only allowed to have legal
documents in our possession. Absolutely no underwear or additional
clothes to fight off the cold weather, or socks to protect our
ankles from being torn by the metal restraints.

After approximately thirty minutes of placement in the dungeon,
Major Michael G. Vaughn (Investigator) brought me a disciplinary
report charging me with violating Rule 30W. (General prohibited
behavior) which states verbatim:

“ Inmate Herman Wallace 076759 is being placed in administrative
segregation for violation of Rule 30W- General Prohibited Behavior,
Pending further investigation.”

On November 17th 2008, Petitioner was brought before the
disciplinary board, his name and prison number were entered into
the record and was soon after told that the matter was “deferred
for full and complete investigation by Major Michael Vaughn”.

On this 24th day of November, 2008, Petitioner remains in the
dungeon stripped of all rights and privileges. I have been
relegated to additional punishment by being placed in “black box”
restraint every time I am out of the cell I am now assigned to.
All personal phone numbers have been removed from my prison phone
list with the exception of attorney phone numbers.

On November 18, 19 & 20, my attorney did visit with me and needed
to know the nature of what I was being charged with in order that I
might be properly represented. I could not tell them, because it
was never told to me. Eleven days have expired and I am constantly
being punished as a harassment tool under the guise of declaring a
full and complete investigation. This investigation comes with no
time limitation and thereby circumvent any constitutional right
this petitioner can rely upon. Therefore the question for this
matter must rest on the premise of whether a prison regulation
affecting a constitutional right that lacks a valid rational
connection to a legitimate governmental interest withstands
institutional challenge?

Petitioner avers that he has a constitutional right to be fully
notified of all charges being brought upon him within a period of
72 hours. (Wolf v McDonnell- 418US539). Anytime a prison
regulation offends fundamental constitutional rights that guarantee
Federal Courts with no exceptions must protect those rights. See
Priucuiver v Martinez (416USet405-40694S.Ct.1800.) In light of the
matter more favorable of the defendant being free to define and or
redefine various types of punishment and deprivation. Petitioner
argues that those justifications must be consistent with the 8th
Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,

1. To be placed in the prison dungeon and 2. reduced to black
box 3. and stripped of all personal phone calls are all consistent
with DOC policy for punishment. However, the problem we face is
that petitioner has not yet been properly charged, nor found guilty
of having violated any institutional rules yet three forms of
punishment have already been imposed.

The above set of punishments are within the meaning of the 1st, 8th
and 14th amendments.

The rule and practice of 30W is shown to be a violation of those

Consequently Petitioner’s 1st, 8th and 14th Amendment challenge
must prevail.


After eleven days of dungeon punishment and counting the petitioner
is not being told the initial cause for placement in the dungeon.
If that cause warrants placement in the dungeon the petitioner
should have been notified. Holding the petitioner in the dungeon
while DOC authorities go on a fishing expedition to find or
manufacture dirt to justify their actions further violates > petitioner’s constitutional right and particularly in violation of
constitutional prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment.


1. That Petitioner be immediately released from the dungeon
2. That all charges or potential charges culminating from this
investigation be dropped and expunged from Petitioners prison record.
3. That Rule 30W be discontinued as a use for disciplinary purposes
4. Petitioner be compensated for pain and suffering

Respectfully submitted,

Herman Wallace
Done this 24th Day of 2008

Camp C, Tiger Unit
Louisiana State Penitentiy


If Guantanamo Bay has been a national embarrassment an symbol of
the U.S. governments relative to charges, trials and torture, then
what is being done to the Angola 3, specifically, Herman Wallace
and Albert Woodfox is what we are to expect if we fail to act
quickly. We must organize and focus our attention on the main
culprit, the Patriot Act, it’s a terrible piece of legislation and
we must demand that it be the very first to be repealed.

The government tries out it’s torture techniques on prisoners in
the U.S. – just far enough to see how society will react. It
doesn’t take long before they unleash their techniques on society
as a whole. What was played out on the streets of Seattle had
already taken place in the prisons of America.

As of this writing Albert and I are still being held in the dungeon.

herman wallace
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