After more than 36 years in solitary confinement, deprived of virtually all human contact, suffering from what he described as a constellation of muscle atrophy, cardiovascular hypertension and deteriorating vision caused by a lack of light and visual stimulation in his stifling cell, Kenny “Zulu” Whitmore was finally released into the general prison population with this aspiration: He just wants to design T-shirts.… Read the full story here.
Kenny “Zulu” Whitmore has been released from solitary confinement after about 36 years at the infamous Angola prison, ending one of the longest stints in isolation in the United States, The Medill Justice Project confirmed today.… Read the full story here.
(Photo courtesy: Kenny “Zulu” Whitmore)
More to come.
Zachary, LA—At 2:45 a.m. on Feb. 25, 1975, suspect Kenny Whitmore told police, in a tape-recorded statement, about the bloody murder of a former mayor of a small city near the Louisiana capital. Nearly 40 years later, a widely divergent summary of that same statement was discovered in police records obtained by The Medill Justice Project, raising questions about a conviction that hinged on Whitmore’s confession.… Read the full story here.
ANGOLA, La.—When Kenny “Zulu” Whitmore reaches out, arms open wide, he can touch the opposite walls of his 6-foot by 9-foot cell. His cot takes up nearly half the space. There’s a sink-and-toilet unit, a rusty mirror, a small ventilation duct—and little else.… Read the full story here.
SACRAMENTO, Calif.—On May 2, 1967, armed members of the Black Panther Party marched into the California Statehouse to protest pending gun-control legislation. Today, the sights and sounds of that demonstration—and the party’s legacy—are preserved in fading newspapers stuffed in a gray filing cabinet, bought at a yard sale for $20, in a former Panther’s home less than three miles from that Statehouse.… Read the full story here.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Billy X. Jennings, a former Black Panther and the party’s de facto historian, presents remnants from the Black Panther Party’s heyday that are displayed in his home beginning on the first floor, leading up to the second floor bedroom that contains the main archives and overflowing in the basement.… Read the full story here.
Héctor G. Barnés of Spain’s El Confidencial writes about the effects of solitary confinement and highlights The Medill Justice Project’s investigation of Kenny “Zulu” Whitmore’s case. Read the full story here.
Is Warden Cain still feeling the blues?
Sixteen days ago, Burl Cain said within two weeks he would personally talk with Kenny “Zulu” Whitmore to consider removing the prisoner from solitary confinement, where he has been held for 35 years—28 of them consecutively—at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. “When I can conclude he’s not going to cause me the blues, then he can come out of the cell,” the warden said July 19 to Medill Justice Project students who were at Angola, researching Whitmore’s case and the issue of solitary confinement.… Read the full story here.