Albert Woodfox, a former Black Panther party activist and a member of the “Angola Three,” died on Thursday, August 4, 2022. He was 75 years old at the time of his death. Woodfox was known for spending 43 years in solitary confinement. Read on to know more about him.
Woodfox’s brother confirmed the unfortunate news of his death to CBS News. His family also released a statement announcing Albert’s passing. He was released from prison in 2016 when he was 69 years old.
The other two members of the Angola Three were already out of the prison. Woodfox served the “longest period of solitary confinement in American prison history.”
How did Albert Woodfox Die?
Albert Woodfox died at the age of 75 years on Thursday due to fatal complications caused by COVID-19. His long-term lawyers, George Kendall and Carine Williams, and his brother Michael Mable made the cause of death public.
Woodfox contracted COVID despite being vaccinated and boosted. The virus hit him hard and he started accumulating fluid in his lungs. Soon, multiple organs were affected and Woodfox started developing complications.
Although Woodfox recovered from COVID, he couldn’t recover from the complications due to his old age. Ultimate, the former Black Panther passed away on Thursday. His brother was by his side during his final moments.
Albert Woodfox Cause of Death Explained
Albert Woodfox developed complications in his body due to contracting COVID-19 recently. His brother revealed that he had fluid in his lungs. He took medicines to clear it up but that aggravated his heart. After the treatment was undertaken for the heart, his kidney function slowed down.
Scans confirmed that he had developed blood clots and begun suffering strokes. “All of that Angola-imposed abuse to his body, it came back,” Kendall said after Woodfox’s demise.
Eventually, Woodfox passed away by his brother Mable. The 65-year-old sat next to him for his final weeks. “I told him that I was here, I was present, that I know you’re feeling my spirit, that I would love to see you open your eyes,” said Mable.
Who was Albert Woodfox?
Albert Woodfox was a former Black Panther party activist and one of the Angola Three members. He was born on February 19, 1947. He had been held in solitary confinement longer than any individual in U.S. history. Woodfox survived around 43 years in a 6ft x9ft cell in one of America’s most brutal prisons, Louisiana State Penitentiary (also called Angola Prison).
Woodfox was imprisoned in 1972 after being convicted in the death of prison guard Brent Miller. Miller’s body was found in an empty prison dormitory. The prisoners identified Woodfox as the person who grabbed the guard from behind while others stabbed him using a lawnmower blade and a hand-sharpened prison knife.
Woodfox was put in solitary immediately after the conviction. He was serving time for armed robbery and assault before that.
In February 2016, Woodfox’s surprise release took place when he pleaded no contest to manslaughter and aggravated burglary. A judge ordered his immediate release.
“After carefully considering all of the facts and circumstances surrounding this case and its procedural history, as it stands today – our team of prosecutors believes this plea is in the best interest of justice,” Attorney General Jeff Landry said in a statement.
In February 2016, Woodfox, then 69 years old, pleaded no contest to manslaughter and aggravated burglary and a judge ordered his immediate release. After his release, Woodfox enjoyed devoting time to educating the public in the U.S.
He traveled widely domestically and around the world to address audiences of school children and judges. He also adopted a stray dog found wandering on a levee near Lake Pontchartrain. Woodfox called him Hobo. He published a number of books including “Solitary.”
Why was Albert Woodfox put in Solitary Confinement?
Albert Woodfox was put in decades-long solitary confinement or isolation at the Angola Prison as the officers believed that his Black Panther Party activism would otherwise rile up inmates. The officers were afraid that Woodfox’s actions and words would spark unwanted sentiments among the prisoners.
Woodfox’s story sparked discussions about the cruelness of solitary confinement as well as a significant improvement. He supported his fellow prisoners at the Penitentiary throughout his unlawful detention.
He even staged hunger strikes to receive humane treatment and helped in the education of prisoners. Woodfox wanted to leave the planet in a better state for his grandkids, great-grandchildren, and all future generations just like his African ancestors did.
Albert Woodfox was the last confined member of Angola Three
Albert Woodfox, Herman Wallace, and Robert King became known as the “Angola Three” due to their decades-long stays in isolation at the Angola Prison (Lousiana Penitentiary). The officers put them into solitary confinements as their Black Panther Party activism might rile up inmates.
Woodfox was the last member of the group to be discharged. He spent 43 years in secluded detention and became the longest kept prisoner in solitary confinement in America’s history.
The other member of the Angola Three charged in Miller’s killing, Herman Wallace was released on October 1, 2013. However, he died three days later due to liver cancer.
Robert King was the first member to be released in 2001 after spending 29 years in solitary confinement. His first conviction was overturned on appeal. He pleaded guilty to a lesser conspiracy to commit murder charge.
Our condolences go out to the departed soul. May God offer strength to his family and loved ones.
(Content owned by Bareillycollege.org)