- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Clemency for the FALN

Posted by: Nikhil Jaikumar ( DSA, MA, USA ) on October 01, 1999 at 10:57:27:

What does everyone think about Bill Clinton's offer of clemency for the FALN prisoners? (FALN is a Puerto Rican separatist group, Marxist-Lenionist I believe, which killed several peopel in a series of bombings, robberies, etc. in the '80s.)

First of all, let me make it clear that I have no sympathy for the FALN. Unlike most revolutionaries or guerilla groups, the FALN do not have the support of the population. Only 5% of Puerto rican want independence, which makes the FALN's goals pointless as well as immoral.

however, it's a basic principle of our justice system (and, one might add, of the justice system of Communist Nicaragua) that only individual crimes can be prosecuted. Individuals cannot be held as scaopegoats fro teh crimes of a group, and onlyy thsoe members of teh group who were responsible can be heald guilty.

In this case, the 6 prisoners had not taken part in any violent activieties. they were not implicated in the robberies, the bombings, or teh murders. In fact, they were not even accsued of tehse crimes. They were condemned to decades in prison on charges sucha s illegal weapons possession.

In light of thsi, clemlmncy was long overdue. In fact, it is appalling that Clinton should place the conditions on their clemency that eh did. They have been requierd to forswear advocating violence and to not associate with each other any more. If those conditions were imposed on the rets of us, we couldn't support any war whatsoever, and can you imagine never seeing your friendsor associates again? More to the point, Clinton's devious and Machiavellian wife is being her reactionary self, saying that teh prisoners were treated too well, that tehy didn't grovel and beg hard enough- what the hell is this? Does anyone else have a problem with this?

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