A judge in the US state of Louisiana has ordered the release of an inmate who has been in solitary confinement for more than 40 years.
Judge James Brady also banned prosecutors from trying Albert Woodfox, 68, for a third time.
He has been in solitary confinement since April 1972, after a prison riot that resulted in the death of a guard.
Woodfox was tried twice for the guard’s death, but both convictions were later overturned. He denies all the charges.
Woodfox was confined for 23 hours a day, with an hour outside his cell to “walk alone along the tier on which his cell is located”, according to court documents from a case challenging his prison conditions.
Exercise was permitted three times a week and there were restrictions on “personal property, reading materials, access to legal resources, work, and visitation rights”.
Originally convicted and imprisoned for armed robbery, he was found guilty of murder after the riot in which prison officer Brent Miller was stabbed to death with a lawnmower blade.
On Monday, Judge Brady ordered the unconditional release of Woodfox and said a third trial could not be fair.
But a spokesman for the Louisiana attorney general said prosecutors would appeal “to make sure this murderer stays in prison and remains fully accountable for his actions”.

Woodfox is currently being a detention centre where he was placed in isolation ahead of his trial.

He is one of three men who were held in solitary confinement at the maximum security Louisiana State Penitentiary and known as the “Angola Three”, as the prison lies next to a former slave plantation called Angola.

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