Forty years later two of these men still have yet to come out. According to a BBC audio documentary, advocates for the "Angola 2" claim not just that they are being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment in the form of solitary confinement prison brutality but also that they are innocent of the crime alleged.
Given that the Angola 2 were affiliated with the Black Panther Movement, advocates say they were sent to solitary confinement because of their political views and because at the time of the killing they were vocal critics of the rampant police brutality and racism that plagued Angola in 1970's.
It is estimated that 80,000 prisoners in the United States are held in solitary confinement.
Just as it is in Louisiana, the story of prison brutality in California is about more than extreme overcrowding, lack of rehabilitation, excessive sentences and privatization. Increasingly, it is about isolation and solitary confinement.
Administrative segregation inmates at Pelican Bay and other state prisons recently staged a hunger strike to draw attention to the cruel nature of prison brutality in California and solitary confinement.
The harsh and isolating conditions of solitary confinement also have also been the subject of extensive prison litigation and a petition to the United Nations.