[News] Parole Commission Weighs Continuing Supervision of Ex-Political Prisoners

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Fri Nov 19 16:27:12 EST 2004



News Bulletin: November 19, 2004

     U.S. Parole Commission Weighs Continuing Supervision of

Former Puerto Rican Political Prisoners

On September 10, 2004, Edwin Cortés, Elizam Escobar, Ricardo Jiménez, 
Adolfo Matos, Dylcia Pagán, Alberto Rodríguez, Ida Luz (Lucy) Rodríguez, 
Alejandrina Torres, and Carmen Valentín marked the fifth anniversary of 
their historic release from U.S. prisons. When president Clinton commuted 
their disproportionate sentences, he deemed they had served two-thirds of 
their sentences, making them eligible to serve the remaining third under 
the supervision of the U.S. Parole Commission. Their supervision would last 
until 2008 or 2009, unless the Parole Commission terminated the supervision 
earlier. After the fifth anniversary, the Parole Commission may not 
continue supervision unless it is determined, after a hearing, that such 
supervision should not be terminated because there is a likelihood that the 
person will engage in conduct violating any criminal law.

Today we learned that the Parole Commission has decided that it will not 
accede to early termination of supervision, but that it will proceed to 
hearing, in spite of the fact that both of the supervising U.S. Probation 
Officers recommended early termination; in spite of the fact that there is 
no evidence that any of these men and women will engage in conduct 
violating any criminal law; and in spite of the fact that we provided the 
Parole Commission with extensive documentation of their successful 
integration into civil society, including letters of support from their 
employers, as well as elected officials and civic and religious leaders 
from Puerto Rico and the U.S.

Hearings will be scheduled in San Juan and Chicago, to be presided over by 
representatives of the Parole Commission. Their regulations provide for due 
process, including that the right to be apprised of the evidence and the 
right to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses. We have already 
formally requested that we be apprised of the evidence they intend to 
introduce against each of the former political prisoners; and we have 
indicated our intention to exercise the right to confront and cross-examine 
any and all adverse witnesses.

Jan Susler

Attorney for Edwin Cortés, Elizam Escobar, Ricardo Jiménez, Adolfo Matos, 
Dylcia Pagán, Alberto Rodríguez, Ida Luz (Lucy) Rodríguez, Alejandrina 
Torres, and Carmen Valentín

People’s Law Office

1180 N. Milwaukee

Chicago, IL 60622

773/235-0070 ext 118

The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977
www.freedomarchives.org 
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