[Ppnews] Support Carlos Alberto Torres' parole hearing in May
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Apr 29 16:38:53 EDT 2009
Puerto Rican political prisoner Carlos Alberto
Torres is scheduled for a parole hearing in May.
He was initially scheduled for a January hearing,
which he postponed after being falsely charged
with a disciplinary violation the week before
that hearing. The prison disciplinary committee
proceeded to find him guilty of possession of
knives hidden in a light fixture in the cell he
shared with nine other prisoners, in spite of a
sworn confession by the person responsible.
Carlos administrative appeal is still pending.
The Parole Commission has not yet set a specific
date, but it will likely be the week of May 25.
There is still time to collect letters supporting
his parole, and get them to the address below... deadline for receipt: May 15.
Peoples Law Office
1180 N. Milwaukee
Chicago, IL 60622
Sample letter for Carlos and Oscar - please print
out, sign and send to Jan Susler
To the President of the United States:
We write to ask you to release two Puerto Rican
men currently in federal prison: Oscar López
Rivera and Carlos Alberto Torres. Both have
served almost 30 years, convicted of seditious
conspiracy, for their involvement in the Puerto
Rican independence movement. Although they were
not convicted of harming anyone or taking a life,
they were given disproportionately severe sentences of 70 years.
Mr. López and Mr. Torres were convicted with many
others, 11 of whom were released in 1999 by way
of presidential commutation. In granting their
release, President Clinton followed the example
of other presidents who exercised this
constitutional power, such as Jimmy Carter, who
offered amnesty to 5 Puerto Rican Nationalists in
1979. Mr. Clinton was also responding to the
requests of thousands of citizens who had
requested their release. While he did not endorse
their political beliefs, he recognized the
injustice of their lengthy sentences, given that
they were not convicted of harming anyone or
taking a life. The women and men released by
Presidents Clinton and Carter have successfully
integrated into civil society, supporting
themselves and caring for their loved ones.
The international campaign for their release in
1999 enjoyed wide support from a broad base,
including Puerto Ricans in the U.S. and on the
island, elected officials and religious leaders.
Notable supporters of the campaign were President
Jimmy Carter, Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond
Tutu, Coretta Scott King, several Nobel Peace
Prize laureates, as well as leaders of the major
religious denominations in Puerto Rico and the
U.S., all representing a variety of political
ideologies and viewpoints. Yet, they shared a
common belief that they had served sufficient
time in prison at the time of their release 16
to19 years and supported their release as a
human rights issue. This international campaign
is still very much in place, and most recently
included a resolution from the United Nations,
specifically requesting you to release them.
Oscar López Rivera and Carlos Alberto Torres,
both in medium security facilities, have been
model prisoners, involved in a variety of
educational and cultural projects while in
prison. They have been separated from their
families, friends, and communities for nearly 30
years. We urge you to exercise the constitutional
power in your hands, commuting their sentences so
that we may welcome them to our midst.
City, State, Zip Code______________________________________
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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