[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.

Jan Susler
People’s 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.

Yours truly,

Name ___________________________________________

Street Address_______________________________________

City, State, Zip Code______________________________________

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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