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Victory for Zolo!

October 19, 2008

the_incarcerated_man.jpg
Zolo Agonia Azania, a political prisoner in Indiana and an amazing painter, illustrator and collagist, has finally been taken off death row!!! On the eve of his third death penalty trial, the State of Indiana finally abandoned their 27 year campaign to execute Zolo. They dismissed all death penalty charges and agreed to have Zolo sentenced on his 1982 murder and robbery conviction. It looks like with good time credit, Zolo will now be released from prison in 7 years. He will be immediately released from death row. Also, under the terms of the agreement he will be allowed to challenge his 1982 convictions in federal habeas proceedings.
We have featured Zolo’s art here before, and hopefully now he will be make more great work.
Here is Zolo’s statement:

i am glad that the State has finally offered me this opportunity to plan a life on the outside. i can use that freedom to work for justice for others, and, of course, to establish a way of sustaining my life on my own.
i feel that God has given me many gifts; and with these gifts then i would be able to take care of myself and do good for others. i have matured in many ways over these stressful 27 plus years. i see things quite differently now than in that early stage of my life.
i still resolutely maintain my innocence. By this agreement the State gives up the death penalty request. My next course of action will be to go on into the federal court system to expose the many injustices. i will continue to contest my innocence in the murder. i am angry over the numerous ways that i’ve been mistreated by the judicial sanction system. i was illegally placed in this untenable position by the Indiana Supreme Court when they took back my dismissal of the case for fast and speedy trial violation, and authorized the prosecution to retry me for the death penalty for the third time! Nonetheless, i will continue to contest my innocence in this murder. i am angry over the numerous ways i’ve been mistreated by the system that some call justice–a term of relativity. Therefore, the protracted struggle continues!
Thank you.
Zolo Agona Azania #4969
Indiana State Prison
P.O. Box 41
Michigan City, Indiana 46361-0041

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