Black Man Released From Louisiana’s Angola Prison After 75 Years


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(Photos: Twitter)Last week, Henry Montgomery, now 75, was released after nearly six decades in a Louisiana prison for a crime that happened when he was a 17-year-old child.In 1963, when Mr. Montgomery was a child, he was accused of shooting a white East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s deputy just two weeks after his 17th birthday. More than 60 Black men were arrested in the wake of the shooting, and cross burnings were reported in the days leading up to trial. Henry was tried and convicted for the murder. He automatically received the death penalty.The Louisiana Supreme Court overturned his conviction and sentence in 1966, finding that the atmosphere around the trial had prejudiced him and prevented a fair trial. Henry was retried in 1969 and received a mandatory life-without-parole sentence.As a teenager entering Louisiana’s notoriously violent and abusive Angola prison, Henry originally struggled to adjust, but even with no hope of release, he became a coach and trainer for a boxing team he helped establish, worked in the prison’s silkscreen department, and matured into a positive role model and counselor for other incarcerated men.