Pardon Goetz, Rifle Group Urges Cuomo

United Press International

The National Rifle Assn. today called on New York Gov. Mario Cuomo to pardon "subway vigilante" Bernhard Goetz, describing the bespectacled gunman who captured the nation's fascination as a "political prisoner."

In a letter to Cuomo, Wayne LaPierre, NRA legislative director, urged the governor to use his power "to turn justice upright again by pardoning Mr. Goetz--a victim who has suffered long enough."

"Mr. Goetz has suffered three long years as a political prisoner, exonerated of real crime by a jury, yet ultimately condemned to jail by a New York judge inflicting his own outrageous, personal biases against this victim," LaPierre said.

A jury found Goetz guilty of possessing an unlicensed handgun, but acquitted him on four counts of attempted murder for the Dec. 22, 1984, shootings of four black men whom Goetz claimed threatened him on a New York City subway.

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