Ashley Marie Torres Feliciano has already received the news that she will be released from jail soon and is preparing to comply with the restrictions imposed through the conditional pardon that the governor granted her today. Wanda Vazquez Garced, informed the lawyer and founder of the Innocence Project of the Interamerican University, Julio Fontanet.
“She is very happy, very aware of the challenges that await her once she gets out of jail,” said Fontanet, dean of the Inter Law School.
Torres Feliciano has been incarcerated for 11 years, convicted as a co-author of the murder of her brother in 2009. She was sentenced to 111 years in prison, while the perpetrator was sentenced to 11 years in prison.
Fontanet indicated that four lawyers came this afternoon to the Bayamón Correctional Complex after the announcement of the president. Two of them were able to speak with the young 28-year-old mother, who had learned that she was pardoned because the news spread among the inmates, she said.
Vázquez Garced announced today that he granted 31 executive clemency, including a conditional pardon for Torres Feliciano. As part of the conditions, Torres Feliciano must spend a year under house arrest under electronic supervision. Then, you must remain at your residence from 9:00 pm to 6:00 am, and you will not be able to commit any crime or use controlled substances, among other restrictions, before you can receive a full pardon that would clear your criminal record.
The governor noted that the year of house arrest will help her adjust to life outside of prison.
“She has to make that transformation from prison life to normal life … That is expected for a young woman who has been in prison since she was 16 years old,” Fontanet said.
The date of the granting of clemency makes it difficult to complete the bureaucratic procedures before next week, the lawyer explained.
“I think that if today were not December 31, all that could have happened today, but today is 31, tomorrow is 1 (January) and then it is Saturday and Sunday. The bureaucratic process, I know it has already begun, I know that it has already started, and we are very grateful. Everything must be able to culminate on Monday, ”he said.
Due to the restrictions that the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation has imposed on visits to prisons to avoid contagion with COVID-19, it is unlikely that Torres Feliciano will receive his relatives in prison. The meeting would be when he leaves, possibly on Monday, Fontanet said.
“The important thing here is that that young woman comes out,” he said.
The first executive granted a conditional pardon to Torres Feliciano after meeting last week with Fontanet in La Fortaleza. The clemency petition executive was made more than a year ago. When she was Secretary of Justice, in 2018, Vázquez Garced was in charge of announcing that a new trial against Torres Feliciano would not be authorized, after Proyecto Inocencia indicated that exculpatory evidence had been suppressed during the first trial.