Defense, prosecution argue over bail for Angola 3 inmate in slaying of Angola officer

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BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — A federal judge will decide whether Albert Woodfox should be released on bail while awaiting a third trial in the 1972 stabbing death of a Louisiana State Penitentiary guard.

Woodfox sat quietly Monday as his attorneys and lawyers for the state argued in front of a Baton Rouge federal judge over whether the 67-year-old "Angola 3" member should receive bail.

Carine Williams, one of Woodfox's attorneys, told U.S. District Judge James Brady that Woodfox is neither a flight risk nor a danger to the community.

But Assistant Attorney General Kurt Wall argued it is up to a state district judge to decide whether Woodfox should be released on bail in the killing of Brent Miller.

"He has every right to bail, just not by this court," Wall said to Brady, also telling the judge it would be "out of the ordinary" for the federal judge to order Woodfox released on bail.

Fellow Assistant Attorney General Colin Clark argued additionally that Woodfox has twice been unanimously convicted in Miller's slaying, and he added that Woodfox's seven felony convictions — including two escapes — do not make him a prime candidate for bail.

"That's not going to weigh too heavily on me," Brady said of Woodfox's past convictions, which his attorneys said date to the 1960s.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1F4CB3t ) Brady did not indicate when he would issue a decision.

Brady is the judge who threw out Woodfox's 1998 second-degree murder conviction in 2013, citing racial discrimination in the grand jury foreman selection process. A federal appeals court let his ruling stand in November.

Wall told Brady that the state "might" ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the judge's overturning of Woodfox's 1998 conviction. Clark told the judge that the state is prepared to retry Woodfox "within a reasonable time."

Woodfox's 1973 murder conviction also was tossed due to grand jury issues.


Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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