Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. Democracy Now! brings you crucial reporting like our coverage from the front lines of the standoff at Standing Rock or news about the movements fighting for peace, racial and economic justice, immigrant rights and LGBTQ equality. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How is this possible? Only with your support. If every visitor to this site in December gave just $10 we could cover our basic operating costs for 2017. 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 and everybody else in 2017.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.

Topics

Republicans Pressure White House to Withdraw Clemency Offer to Puerto Rican Activists

StorySeptember 03, 1999
Watch iconWatch Full Show

Congressional Republicans this week stepped up pressure on the Clinton administration to withdraw the clemency offer it made last month to several Puerto Rican political prisoners and activists, subpoenaing White House and Justice Department records and raising the likelihood of Congressional hearings on the matter in the fall.

Spearheading the effort is Rep. Dan Burton (R-Indiana), who heads the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, and who also subpoenaed Attorney General Janet Reno and White House Counsel Cheryl Mills.

Clinton has offered conditional clemency to some members of the Puerto Rican independence group, the Armed Forces of National Liberation–known as FALN for its initials in Spanish–if they agree to renounce violence, refrain from meeting with other independence leaders and obey stringent guidelines barring them from using weapons.

Under the proposal, 11 of the 16 activists would be eligible immediately for release, two would have to serve more time before they could be freed, and three who have already been released from prison would have fines against them reduced. The activists, who were never connected to an act of murder or violence and who have already served 14 to 19 years in prison, are still reviewing the proposal.

Since the offer was made, Newsweek quoted an anonymous source as saying that prison officials had recorded conversations between some of the prisoners in which they would embrace violence once they are released. The prisoners have denied the allegations, and the story has also been denied by all federal law enforcement agencies, which themselves are opposed to the proposed clemency.

Meanwhile, thousands of Puerto Ricans marched last weekend in San Juan demanding that the prisoners be released.

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.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.

Make a donation