THIS BLOG is NOW RETIRED

I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

David Rovics: We Are Everywhere

To my fellow activists now struggling through life - let this be a reminder that you are not alone and that we desperately need you here. All the injustice, grief, war, and human suffering calls for us to stay and do everything we can about it - you can't help us anymore when you're gone. Don't give up the fight - your last shred of hope may just keep someone else alive, too.
BLOG POSTS

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Parole Carlos Alberto Torres!

From the NYC Jericho Network:

Please read below. Carlos is facing yet another level of repression and right on the heels of being recommended for parole!! Attached are two petitions that we have to collect and get signed. Please fax them to the fax numbers you see on the letters.

Thanks. We need to flood their faxes with these letters and remind them that people care about what happens to Carlos Alberto & Oscar!

--
Michelle Morales
National Boricua Human Rights Network - Chicago Chapter

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Puerto Rican Political Prisoner Carlos Alberto Torres: parole bid foiled by Bureau of Prisons

July 30, 2009

In January, 2009, Puerto Rican political prisoner Carlos Alberto Torres was scheduled for a parole hearing, after serving 29 years behind bars for his commitment to the independence of Puerto Rico. On the eve of his hearing, prison authorities falsely accused him and eight of his cellmates of possessing knives which the tenth cellmate had hidden— unbeknownst to them all— in the light fixture of the cell. Having maintained an immaculate record for his 29 years in prison, why would Carlos Alberto do something to jeopardize his parole on the eve of his hearing?

The January parole hearing was postponed, the false accusation was ultimately expunged, and he proceeded to hearing in May.

At the May hearing, the hearing examiner for the Parole Commission recommended that he be paroled on April 3, 2010— by when Carlos Alberto will have served exactly 30 years in prison— and advised that we could expect the commission’s final decision within 21 days. However, in June, prison authorities reinstated the false weapons possession charges against Carlos Alberto and his eight cellmates.

On July 28, the Parole Commission notified Carlos Alberto that they would postpone their decision for at least 90 days, pending resolution of the charges.

Two days later, the prison disciplinary hearing officer held hearings on the false weapons charges. Carlos Alberto’s defense consisted not merely of his statement denying possession. The tenth cellmate appeared as a witness, admitting that the knives were his, and his alone, and that Carlos Alberto and none of the other cellmates knew he had hidden the knives in the light fixture. The guilty party also provided a sworn statement to this effect. Much to the surprise of Carlos Alberto and the other eight cellmates, the disciplinary hearing officer nevertheless found them guilty of possessing the hidden weapons.

The finding of guilt will undoubtedly adversely affect the decision of the Parole Commission. Indeed, one might suspect that the reinstatement of the charges and the finding of guilt were calculated to adversely affect the decision.

The National Boricua Human Rights Network and the Comité Pro Derechos Humanos de Puerto Rico are waging a phone and fax campaign to the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the U.S. Parole Commission, asking that the false disciplinary charges be expunged and that Carlos Alberto be released from prison. Sample letters and contact information are provided below.


Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

www.Freedomarchives.org


--
Free All Political Prisoners!
nycjericho@gmail.com • www.jerichony.org
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Here's the letter to the warden, to cut and paste if you care to:

Warden Via facsimile 309/

FCI Pekin Telephone 309/346-8588

P.O. Box 7000

Pekin, IL 61555


Re: Carlos Alberto Torres, 88976-024

FCI Pekin


Dear Warden:

We write to ask that you correct a terrible injustice which has been done to Mr. Torres. In January of 2009, Mr. Torres having served 29 years in prison, and having maintained a clean disciplinary record throughout, was scheduled for a parole hearing. However, prison officials wrongfully accused him of possessing a dangerous weapon— unbeknownst to Mr. Torres, one of the occupants of the ten man cell to which he was assigned had hidden knives in the light fixture. The guilty party admitted sole responsibility and provided a sworn statement, which Mr. Torres offered. The charges were expunged, and the Parole Commission hearing examiner recommended that Mr. Torres be released on April 3, 2010, by which time he will have served exactly 30 years behind bars.


Subsequent to that recommendation, prison authorities re-issued the accusation and notified the Parole Commission, which then issued an order postponing its ruling on the hearing examiner’s recommendation. Inexplicably, last week the disciplinary hearing officer found Mr. Torres guilty of the charges, in spite of the guilty party’s testimony admitting sole responsibility.


This wrongful decision will derail the parole process and postpone Mr. Torres’ release.


We ask that you immediately expunge the wrongful charges. We further ask that you communicate with the Parole Commission to inform them of the expungement, so that they can order Mr. Torres’ release. Thank you.

Very truly yours,


--------------------------------------------


Here it is to the director of prisons:

Harley G. Lappin, Director Via facsimile 202/

Federal Bureau of Prisons Telephone 202/307-3198

320 First St., NW,

Washington, DC 20534

Re: Carlos Alberto Torres, 88976-024


FCI Pekin


Dear Director Lappin:


We write to ask that you correct a terrible injustice which has been done to Mr. Torres. In January of 2009, Mr. Torres having served 29 years in prison, and having maintained a clean disciplinary record throughout, was scheduled for a parole hearing. However, FCI Pekin officials wrongfully accused him of possessing a dangerous weapon— unbeknownst to Mr. Torres, one of the occupants of the ten man cell to which he was assigned had hidden knives in the light fixture. The guilty party admitted sole responsibility and provided a sworn statement, which Mr. Torres offered. The charges were expunged, and the Parole Commission hearing examiner recommended that Mr. Torres be released on April 3, 2010, by which time he will have served exactly 30 years behind bars.


Subsequent to that recommendation, FCI Pekin authorities re-issued the accusation and notified the Parole Commission, which then issued an order postponing its ruling on the hearing examiner’s recommendation. Inexplicably, last week the disciplinary hearing officer found Mr. Torres guilty of the charges, in spite of the guilty party’s testimony admitting sole responsibility.


This wrongful decision will derail the parole process and postpone Mr. Torres’ release.

We ask that you immediately expunge the wrongful charges. We further ask that you communicate with the Parole Commission to inform them of the expungement, so that they can order Mr. Torres’ release. Thank you.


Very truly yours,

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