May 26, 2009
By Jan Susler
Puerto Rican political prisoner Carlos Alberto Torres appeared this morning with his attorney Jan Susler at FCI Pekin, Illinois at a videoconference hearing with U.S. Parole Commission hearing examiner Larry Glenn.
The hearing took place after Carlos Alberto had served over 29 years in prison, and 15 years after his initial parole hearing in 1994, when the Parole Commission told him to come back after serving another 15 years.
The hearing examiner opened by saying he would make one of three possible recommendations at the conclusion of the hearing: 1) set a presumptive parole date; 2) tell Carlos Alberto once again to come back after serving another 15 years, at which time he would be considered for possible release on parole; or 3) deny parole entirely.
For some 45 minutes, the examiner posed questions, including some very pointed political questions about Carlos Alberto’s views on the relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico, and whether his thoughts on this issue have changed throughout his years in custody. He reviewed his accomplishments in prison and asked about his plans if he were to be released: to open a pottery studio in Puerto Rico.
Significantly, Glenn noted “the large number of documents showing community support sent to the parole commission.” He was referring to the thousands of letters and resolutions from all of Puerto Rico’s civil society, as well as from supporters throughout the U.S. and Mexico.
After a brief break, Glenn announced his recommendation: a presumptive parole date of April 3, 2010, which would mark the 30th anniversary of Carlos Alberto’s imprisonment.
The parole commission has 21 days to issue a decision, of by June 16. Should the commission adopt the examiner’s recommendation, Carlos Alberto would be eligible for transfer to a halfway house 180 days before April 3, 2010, or on October 3, 2009.
Letters urging the commission to adopt the hearing examiner’s recommendation should arrive no later than June 17 at the office of Jan Susler, Attorney, People’s Law Office, 1180 N. Milwaukee, Chicago
People’s Law Office
1180 N. Milwaukee
Chicago, IL 60622
773/235-0070 x 118