After Mounting Pressure From Activists And Politicians, President Obama Finally Granted Clemency To Oscar López Rivera


It took the efforts of serious political heavyweights and more than 100,000 petition signers, but Oscar López Rivera finally had his 70-year sentence commuted by President Obama. According to the Department of Justice, López Rivera was convicted of “seditious conspiracy” against the U.S. and has remained in prison since August 11, 1981. As UPI reported at that time, López Rivera, who has a Bronze Star for serving in Vietnam, declared himself a political prisoner. Many of the charges levied against López Rivera stemmed from his participation with Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN), which fought for Puerto Rico’s independence, according to TeleSur.

Oscar López Rivera’s imprisonment has drawn criticism over the years. Last year, Congressman Luis V. Guttierez (D-IL) took the floor of the House to ask President Obama to pardon López Rivera.

Bernie Sanders also made repeated calls to the president to get the word out about López Rivera. This past May, the Washington Post noted, Rep. Sanders tweeted: “Oscar López Rivera has served 34 years in prison for his commitment to Puerto Rico’s independence. I say to President Obama: let him out.”

López Rivera will be released from prison on May 17.

READ: People Are Pleading Obama To Pardon Oscar Lopez Rivera After 35 Years In Prison

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This Man Was In Foster Care For 20 Years, But Before Leaving, He Let The Judge Know How He Really Felt

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This Man Was In Foster Care For 20 Years, But Before Leaving, He Let The Judge Know How He Really Felt

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Noel Anaya aged out of the foster care system this year and this is how he vocalized his “breakup”.

Youth Radio and Noel Anaya gave listeners a rare and special glimpse into the world of foster care — more specifically, a glimpse into what happens when people age out of the system and realize they are about to face the real world alone.

For Anaya, life in foster care was anything but perfect. Sure, he was given a chance to live and go to school, but he was separated from his siblings and never got to have a family that was all his own. On the podcast, he briefly recollects of his time as a foster child while going to a final court hearing about his time in the system and his exit. In the state of California, foster children age out of the system at 21. During the hearing, Judge Shawna Schwarz asked Ayana if he had any feedback after being in the system and Ayana came prepared with this letter:

“To whom it may concern. This is the year that I divorce you, your grey hands can no longer hurt me, your grey hands can never overpower me, your grey hands can never tell me that you love me because it’s too late. Your grey hands just taught me how to survive in a world. We never learned how to love ourselves unconditionally. I’ve been with multiple foster families, I’ve been with multiple shelters. How does a person like me not end up with a family. At 21 you happily kick us off to the curb and say good luck I wish you well, I wish you the best but don’t come back because we can’t take you in. I’ve seen too many of my people give up on the educational system. I hope that you hear my words. And I hope that you listen to my signal of distress. I thank you for giving me closure. Thank you.”

And with those words, Anaya left the foster care system hoping to continue his life as a student.

You can read the full transcription of the podcast here.

READ: Lady Gaga Singing To These Orphans In Mexico Will Show A Side Of Her We’ve Never Seen

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