Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. In this US election year, Democracy Now! is more important than ever. For 20 years, we’ve put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power. We lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. A generous funder will match your donation dollar for dollar if you donate right now. That means when you give $10, your donation will be worth $20. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you every day.

Your Donation: $

Puerto Rican Political Prisoners Accept Clinton's Clemency Offer

September 08, 1999
Story
WATCH FULL SHOW

Puerto Rican Political Prisoners Accept Clinton’s Clemency Offer

Twelve Puerto Rican political prisoners yesterday accepted a conditional clemency offer from President Clinton, after law enforcement agencies, Congressional Republicans and First Lady Hillary Clinton mounted pressure on the president to withdraw the offer.

Clinton offered clemency to 16 members of the Armed Forces of National Liberation, the Puerto Rican independence group known as the FALN, but two members are not expected to accept the offer. Under the terms of the agreement, the activists must renounce violence, refrain from meeting with other independence leaders and obey stringent guidelines barring them from using weapons.

None of the prisoners have been convicted of violent acts. But Congressional Republicans, law enforcement agencies and eventually Hillary Clinton turned violence it into a central issue when they expressed their opposition to the clemency offer, saying that the activists had not renounced violence.

The clemency offer has erupted into a political issue for the First Lady, who is an all but declared candidate for a Senate seat in New York, where there is a large Latino population.

Guest:

  • Michael Deutsch, Attorney in Chicago who represents several of the prisoners.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.