December 13, 2016
Office of the Pardon Attorney
145 N Street N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20530
Re: Oscar López Rivera 87651-024, FCI Terre Haute
Robert A. Zauzmer,
I write to urge you to immediately release Oscar López Rivera, who has served 34 years in prison for his commitment for the independence of Puerto Rico.
He is deserving of commutation for many reasons: his 70-year sentence is disproportionate: he was not convicted of harming or killing anyone; he has spent almost half his life in prison; his co-defendants, released long ago, are productive, law-abiding citizens; he is a decorated Vietnam veteran.
Support for his release is broad and growing in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and internationally, and includes labor (AFL-CIO, AFSCME, SEIU, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA)); the New York City Council, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus; churches and religious leaders including the United Church of Christ in the U.S. and the Catholic Bishops of Puerto Rico; the United Nations Decolonization Committee, members of Congress, the governor of Puerto Rico, six presidents of Latin American nations, as well as four of your fellow Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
We applaud President Obama’s promise to commute more sentences, his expressed understanding that the constitutional power of pardon is the appropriate remedy for correcting the wrong of disproportionate sentences, his most recent commutations of the disproportionate sentences of people convicted of drug related offenses, and his declaration that, “I believe that at its heart, America is a nation of second chances, and I believe these folks deserve their second chance.”
We are at a loss to understand why he has not commuted Mr. López Rivera’s sentence, and encourage you to advocate for his immediate release. His family and supporters await him with open arms.
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