After more than four decades behind bars, a former Black Panther has won a major breakthrough in challenging his long-term solitary confinement.
The development comes after another former Black Panther, Albert Woodfox, was freed last month after he was held for a record 43 years in isolation at Louisiana’s state penitentiary.
Woodfox’s treatment is the focus of a pending civil lawsuit that argues his confinement was cruel and unusual. Around the same time Woodfox was released in February, US magistrate judge Cynthia Reed Eddy was debating whether to grant a jury trial for a similar lawsuit filed by Russell “Maroon” Shoatz over his 22 consecutive years in solitary in SCI [state correctional institution] Greene inPennsylvania. Now she has set a trial date for 11 July.
Shoatz was convicted in 1970 of first-degree murder for an attack on a Philadelphia police station during which one officer was…
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