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Chile rejects bishops’ call for clemency for Pinochet-era criminals

Catholic World News - July 26, 2010

President Sebastian Pinera of Chile has rejected a call by the nation’s bishops to consider pardoning some persons convicted of human rights violations during the military regime of Augusto Pinochet (1973-90). Arguing against a blanket pardon or a blanket refusal to pardon, the bishops had stated that those imprisoned have differing degrees of responsibility for their crimes and that some have repented.

In its coverage of the story, The New York Times failed to mention that the bishops had also requested that the president consider showing clemency to women prisoners with children, to elderly prisoners, and to terminally ill prisoners-- in some cases reducing their sentences, in others setting them free-- if they no longer constitute a danger to society and have shown good behavior in prison.

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