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Clemency for Puerto Rican Nationalists

Despite a non-binding Congressional resolution condemning the action, President Clinton gave final approval yesterday to the Bureau of Prisons for the release of eleven members of a militant Puerto Rican nationalist group who agreed to renounce violence in return for clemency. Two others, already out of prison, will have their fines reduced if they respond positively to the deal by this evening. The president originally offered clemency to sixteen members of the Armed Forces of National Liberation, a Puerto Rican pro-independence group known by its Spanish initials, FALN. The FALN has been linked to more than 100 bombings, mostly in New York and Chicago, in the 1970s and early 1980s. None of the people offered clemency were convicted in any of the bombings, but all were convicted on charges ranging from conspiracy and bomb-making to armed robbery. While opponents of the move charge that Clinton is soft on terrorism, his supporters claim their complaints are just an attempt to inflict political damage on the President and his wife's impending Senate campaign in New York state. The sites listed provide information about this controversial move by the President.
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Date of Scout Publication 1999-09-10
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