Zolo Agona Azania has spent nearly 35 years in prison, most on death row, for a crime in which he has always maintained his innocence. Originally sentenced to death in a sham trial, Zolo was victorious in having his death sentence voided. Zolo continues to struggle to reverse his original conviction and clear his name. His official release date is February, 2015. He is a prolific artist and writer. This website contains his writings and art, much of it for sale.
Press Release from Zolo Agona Azania:
“It is the weak who are cruel. Gentleness can only be expected from the strong.”
— Leo Roskin
Friday, November 6, 2015
To: All Concerned for Human Rights in all Human Sights!
This is an open letter requesting your help to garner support for my plight. i am currently serving a fourteen (14) year sentence for class B-robbery. i have less than 15 months left on the sentencing judgment. i have completed previously a sixty (60) year sentence. My first twenty-seven years and three months was spent on death row in Indiana. i want to be moved into some type of viable program or positive position for these last few months so that i can effectively earn credit time and additional life skills in preparation for my eventual reentry into the community. i have been held in continuous confinement since August 11, 1981, and i will need more quality time in the reentry program than someone who has served only two (2) or three (3) years, for example.
In 1967, the Indiana General Assembly enacted a statute (law), which allowed the development and implementation of a Work Release Program in this state. The purpose of the Work Release Statute is to permit qualified applicants committed to the DOC to participate in a program in which the participant resides in or near his or her home community and is allowed to secure gainful employment or to further educational goals prior to actual release from prison. This type of habilitative or rehabilitative program was expanded in recent years to include a Pre-Work Release Re-entry program as well. The staff people are charged with the duty of assisting people like me in making the transition or re-entry to the community with some type of financial self-reliance.
i meet all qualifications for these programs. The crux of my genuine complaint is this: Each prisoner’s success is dependent upon his or her own initiative and ability to practice a high level of personal responsibility. i have properly done just that, and i continue to do the same. i have continued to do everything i am supposed to do under the sun necessary to work my way out of prison, but these prisoncrats always overlook my achievements. i am being held in a dormitory setting outside the Indiana State Prison walls. This is not a true minimum security facility. It is also illegally overcrowded; both the ceiling and floor are not strong enough to carry the extra weight of steel bunks, cabinets, and humans stacked on top of one another. Recently, in 2013, an electrified, barbed wire chainlink fence, topped with coils of razor wire was erected around the building here. I.S.O. not only has a fence around it, but the back of the outer perimeter is marked by a thirty-foot wall and guntowers! This brick building is a two story dormitory with a prisoner population of more than 380.
A minimum security assignment constitutes an assignment of a convicted person to a work release center or program, to intermittent service of a sentence, or to a program requiring weekly reporting to a designated official. Moreover, an assignment to minimum security need not involve a penal facility. It is just unconscionable to think these DOC officials can go and do anything they want to confine people in a condemned, overcrowded building because they want more taxpayer money for each bed filled with a warm human body. i would like for you to contact Indiana DOC officials and voice your concerns. i want to be transferred from this place to a real minimum security facility.
Please call to Indianapolis at (317) 233-5541 or 232-5755, www.in.gov/idoc
Thank you for your attention and assistance in this matter.
Zolo Agona Azania
Indiana State Prison Minimum Security Unit
201 Woodlawn Avenue
Michigan City, Indiana 46361