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Tue Jan 17, 2017, 07:12 PM

Obama Commutes Sentence for Political Prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera

Source: The Guardian

Barack Obama has commuted the sentence of Oscar López Rivera, a victory for the Puerto Rican independence activist, who is considered to be one of the world’s longest-serving political prisoners.

López Rivera, whose commutation was announced on Tuesday along with those of 208 others, has been incarcerated for 35 years for his role in fighting for Puerto Rico’s independence.

The 74-year-old, who has spent more than half of his life behind bars, was convicted of “seditious conspiracy” for plotting against the US through his activism. In a recent interview with the Guardian, he said he still believes in what he described as the “noble cause” of full sovereignty for his Caribbean birthplace, which is classified as a US “territory”.

López Rivera was issued two sentences in the 1980s, one of 15 years and one of 55 years, but under Obama’s order, he will be released on 17 May.


Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/17/barack-obama-commutes-sentence-oscar-lopez-rivera-puerto-rico-activist



This commutation should be getting full attention and not drowned out by the also pivotal commutation of Chelsea Manning's sentence

These are two of the most positive gestures of the Obama Administration ever. They highlight how much worse we can expect things to be in the next four years at least

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Reply Obama Commutes Sentence for Political Prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera (Original post)
cloudythescribbler Jan 2017 OP
dalton99a Jan 2017 #1
rug Jan 2017 #2
still_one Jan 2017 #7
tblue37 Jan 2017 #9
cstanleytech Jan 2017 #20
HoneyBadger Jan 2017 #3
catbyte Jan 2017 #4
Uponthegears Jan 2017 #6
McKim Jan 2017 #19
Uponthegears Jan 2017 #5
LaydeeBug Jan 2017 #8
tblue37 Jan 2017 #10
angrychair Jan 2017 #11
tomp Jan 2017 #12
Lithos Jan 2017 #13
tomp Jan 2017 #15
mopinko Jan 2017 #17
Hortensis Jan 2017 #18
nycbos Jan 2017 #14
NobodyHere Jan 2017 #16

Response to cloudythescribbler (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2017, 07:14 PM

1. Great choice.

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Response to cloudythescribbler (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2017, 07:20 PM

2. Clinton offered him clemency 17 1/2 years ago but he refused because of the conditions attached.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 17, 2017, 07:46 PM

7. I wasn't aware of that. Thanks for the link

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Response to rug (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 17, 2017, 08:43 PM

9. From _The Guardian_:

Here is an excerpt from another article that clarifies why Pre. Obama would commute his sentence--besides the fact that he is 74 years old and has only 6 more years to serve anyway:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/17/barack-obama-commutes-sentence-oscar-lopez-rivera-puerto-rico-activist


SNIP

The prisoner has repeatedly insisted that he was focused on actions that did not endanger people’s lives. “For me, human life is sacred. We called it ‘armed propaganda’ – using targets to draw attention to our struggle,” he told the Guardian last year.

The group was dismantled in 1983, and López Rivera and his fellow Puerto Rican independence fighters eventually renounced violence and embraced peaceful reform tactics.

SNIP

Asked about his decision to publicly renounce force, he said, “We realised other tactics to armed force could be more effective, mobilising people through peaceful campaigning. Morally, also, we came to see that we had to lead by example, that if we are advocating for a better world then there are things you cannot do. You cannot get a better world by being unjust yourself.”

SNIP

Some have compared López Rivera to Nelson Mandela, labeling him the “Mandela of Puerto Rico”.


The article also lists some of the people who have been pushing for this commutation: Archbishop Desmond Tutu; the governor of Puerto Rico, Alejandro García Padilla; the Hispanic caucus of the US Congress; Jimmy Carter; Bernie Sanders; and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

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Response to rug (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 18, 2017, 12:50 AM

20. Odd, the conditions listed dont sound to outlandish I wonder why he refused

as it seems he only had to reject the use of violence to achieve his goals and try to avoid any contact with those who advocate the use of violence.

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Response to cloudythescribbler (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2017, 07:28 PM

3. Never heard of him

 

But Googled. He seems violent. What is the rationale behind the commutation? Mercy due to age?

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Response to cloudythescribbler (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2017, 07:36 PM

4. I wish he'd do the same for Leonard Peltier.

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Response to catbyte (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 17, 2017, 07:43 PM

6. Yep n/t

 

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Response to catbyte (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 18, 2017, 12:20 AM

19. Leonard Peltier Deserves to Be Home with His Family

Please write to the White House and tell Obama that it is time to free Leonard Peltier. He is America's most long serving political prisoner, according to Amnesty International. He is not in good health and deserves to spend his last days with his family. For a brief time I was his son's teacher.

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Response to cloudythescribbler (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2017, 07:43 PM

5. I wish he'd do the same for the entirety

 

of federal death row.

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Response to cloudythescribbler (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2017, 08:35 PM

8. Can Trump undo them?

 

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Response to LaydeeBug (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 17, 2017, 08:44 PM

10. No, I am pretty sure he cannot. nt

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Response to LaydeeBug (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 17, 2017, 08:47 PM

11. No, there is not

a president's pardon and clemency power comes from the Constitution (Article 2, Section 2) so while a pardon or clemency may come with some conditions for the one receiving it, there is no way a new president can reverse it.

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Response to cloudythescribbler (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2017, 09:11 PM

12. Great. Now Leonard Peltier. nt.

 

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Response to tomp (Reply #12)

Tue Jan 17, 2017, 09:33 PM

13. That's the one I'm curious over

Personally I know very little pro/con about Peltier' case other than the Indigo Girls cover song (Wounded Knee).

L-

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Response to Lithos (Reply #13)

Tue Jan 17, 2017, 09:46 PM

15. you won't get a better explanation than by reading In the Spirit of Crazy Horse...

 

...by Peter Matthiessen (1983).

As I said, he was innocent. He was defending his people against an attack by the FBI in which an agent was killed. It is absolutely unclear who fired the fatal shot. But even if it was Peltier, there is no question the FBI were the aggressors and and any shooting by Peltier's people was in self defense.

Then he was railroaded...illegally extradited from Canada, false evidence presented, all orchestrated by nixon's corrupt (in)justice machine (nixon really had it in for the American Indian Movement).

A total and unquestionable travesty of justice, just another in a long line of them against American Indians,

As I understand it, all subsequent presidents have refused to pardon him for fear of blowback from the right and particularly from the FBI.

Leonard has been suffering from medical problems over the years but continues to hold his head high and speak the truth.

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Response to tomp (Reply #15)

Tue Jan 17, 2017, 11:48 PM

17. well we got the blowback, might as well pardon him.

at this point, i would want to piss off the fbi.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #17)

Tue Jan 17, 2017, 11:59 PM

18. As you say. As for "seditious conspiracy" and FBI,

that sounds like it should be one of the charges on a Comey et all indictment.

I'm glad at least that Mr. Lopez Rivera will not be dying in prison.

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Response to cloudythescribbler (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2017, 09:42 PM

14. How is he a political prisoner?

And for the record Puerto Ricans themselves have chosen their current political status.


The last vote had only 5 percent for independce.


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Response to cloudythescribbler (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2017, 11:26 PM

16. Between this and Manning

 

RWers are going to have a field day with this.

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