The Miami Herald
September 14, 1999
Senate to vote on resolution condemning Puerto Rican clemency

 WASHINGTON -- (AP) -- The U.S. Senate is following their counterparts in the
 House of Representatives, taking up a resolution on Tuesday condemning
 President Clinton's offer of clemency to Puerto Rican militants.

 The Senate agreed Monday night to take up the issue and will do so Tuesday

 The Senate resolution, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss,
 and Sen. Paul Coverdell, R-Ga, says that Clinton made ``deplorable concessions
 to terrorists, undermined national security and emboldened domestic and
 international terrorists.''

 The House of Representatives approved a similar resolution 311-41 last week,
 with 93 Democrats abandoning the president to side with Republicans on the
 GOP resolution.

 President Clinton ignited a firestorm of criticism when he announced last month
 that he would commute the sentences of 16 Puerto Rican militants if they
 renounced violence and met other conditions of parole. Fourteen of them
 accepted the offer and 11 were freed on Friday from federal prisons around the

 One prisoner must serve five more years before he is released under the
 clemency deal and the remaining two, who were already out of prison, have had
 their fines of dlrs 100,000 and dlrs 50,000 eliminated under the clemency deal.

 Most of those offered clemency were members of the FALN -- the Spanish initials
 for Armed Forces of National Liberation -- which carried out some 130 bomb
 attacks on political and military targets in the United States in the late 1970s and
 early 1980s. The attacks killed six people and wounded dozens more.

 Republicans and some members of the law enforcement community had accused
 Clinton of offering clemency to help his wife's all-but-announced Senate candidacy
 from New York, home to some 1.3 million Puerto Ricans.

 But the issue has turned into more of a headache for the first lady. Mrs. Clinton
 first came out against the clemency offer, angering many of New York's Puerto
 Rican leaders. Then last week, she allowed that she may have been too hasty in
 coming to her decision and should have consulted more with Latino leaders.

                     Copyright 1999 Miami Herald