Interview with Michael Smith

I'd like to ask you about Governor Rockefeller and your hopes and other people's hopes that he could grant amnesty or that he would at least come to Attica. Tell me how, especially the hostages felt about that and how you felt about that.


It was a common, I think it was a common feeling between the, the hostages and the inmates that it was imperative that Governor Rockefeller be present at Attica and physically see what was happening and physically pay attention to the demands and the situation himself. And, at the time that it was announced that he definitely wasn't going to be there, ah, that also cast a negative light on the situation. There were people's lives at stake and, ah, it was, it was despairing, to say the least, that he was going to stay aloof of the whole situation, not only on the officers' parts but also on the inmates' part. That, ah, that here we were talking about people's lives at stake and that, and that he couldn't, ah, personally look into the situation. That he didn't want to personally be responsible for whatever decision was made.