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 For Immediate Release
Sep 8, 1999 Contact: Press Office

FALN Pardon Violates Federal Victim Rights Law

Politically-Motivated Clinton Pardon of Puerto Rican Terrorists Callously Neglects Victims' Rights

(Washington, September 8) In a Wall Street Journal article of August 30, 1999 entitled "Clinton's Clemency for Terrorists Is Unpardonable," Joseph and Thomas Connor, whose father was murdered by Puerto Rican Armed Forces for National Liberation (FALN) terrorists, condemned their politically-motivated pardon by Bill Clinton. The Connors wrote that the pardon is "made in an attempt to sway New York's Hispanic voters with an eye to his wife's Senate campaign." The Connors' father, Frank, was killed on the day his two young sons were to celebrate their 9th and 11th birthday parties.

"In his rush to help the First Lady's Senate campaign, Mr. Clinton and his Justice Department did not have the decency to even notify the Connors of the clemency offer. Under the Victims' Rights and Restitution Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. 10607(c)(5)(B) and (8), a responsible official shall provide a victim the earliest possible notice of ... [the] release from custody of the offender,' so the victim can provide his or her views on the proposed release. Even minimal courtesy and respect was not paid to the victims by either Mr. Clinton or his Justice Department," stated Judicial Watch Chairman Larry Klayman. "At a minimum, before proceeding to finalize the pardons Mr. Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno should now personally contact the Connors and the other victims to first-hand obtain their views on the clemency offer."

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