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Leonard Peltier's Parole Denied - Updated

[This page was updated 8/23 with Leonard Peltier's attorney's response to his parole being denied. Let Obama know what you think, and request a presidential pardon. We must maintain our efforts for truth and justice for Leonard and every innocent human being. The corrupt injustice-political-intelligence system sucks! But please don't give up!]

- - Leonard Peltier’s Parole Update

Fwd. From:
Subject: Eric Seitz ~ Leonard Peltier Attorney ~ Response on Parole Denial
Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2009 15:42:17 -0700 (PDT)

The Bush Administration holdovers on the U.S. Parole Commission today adopted the position of the FBI that anyone who may be implicated in the killings of its agents should never be paroled and should be left to die in prison. Despite judicial determinations that the unrepentant FBI fabricated evidence and presented perjured testimony in Leonard Peltier's prosecution; despite a jury's acquittal on grounds of self-defense of two co-defendants who were found to have engaged in the same conduct of which Mr. Peltier was convicted; despite Mr. Peltier's exemplary record during his incarceration for more than 33 years and his clearly demonstrated eligibility for parole; despite letters and petitions calling for his release submitted by millions of people in this country and around the world including one of the judges who ruled on his earlier appeals; and despite his advanced age and deteriorating health, the Parole Commission today informed Mr. Peltier that his "release on parole would depreciate the seriousness of your offenses and would promote disrespect for the law," and set a reconsideration hearing in July 2024. This is the extreme action of the same law enforcement community that brought us the indefinite imprisonment of suspected teenage terrorists, tortures, and killings in CIA prisons around the world and promoted widespread disrespect for the democratic concepts of justice upon which this country supposedly was founded. These are the same institutions that have never treated indigenous peoples with dignity or respect or accepted any responsibility for centuries of intolerance and abuse. At his parole hearing on July 28th Leonard Peltier expressed regret and accepted responsibility for his role in the incident in which the two FBI agents and one Native American activist died as the result of a shootout on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Mr. Peltier emphasized that the shootout occurred in circumstances where there literally was a war going on between corrupt tribal leaders, supported by the government, on the one hand, and Native American traditionalists and young activists on the other. He again denied -- as he as always denied -- that he intended the deaths of anyone or that he fired the fatal shots that killed the two agents, and he reminded the hearing officer that one of his former co-defendants recently admitted to having fired the fatal shots, himself. Accordingly, it is not true that Leonard Peltier participated in "the execution style murders of two FBI agents," as the Parole Commission asserts, and there never has been credible evidence of Mr. Peltier's responsibility for the fatal shots as the FBI continues to allege. Moreover, given the corrupt practices of the FBI, itself, it is entirely untrue that Leonard Peltier's parole at this juncture will in any way "depreciate the seriousness" of his conduct and/or "promote disrespect for the law." We will continue to seek parole and clemency for Mr. Peltier and to eventually bring this prolonged injustice to a prompt and fair resolution.

Take Action! -

"..We know you’ve written letters, made calls, sent e-mails. First, thank you. Thank you very much for all you do on Leonard’s behalf. But now you have to do it again. And again. And again. Please. Do it and keeping doing it until Leonard Peltier is home with his family.

Call the White House Comment Line: 202-456-1111 or 202-456-1112;

AND Fax a letter to the White House: 202-456-2461;

AND E-mail the White House:

Take all three actions every single day. And the message?

Mr. President. Free Peltier NOW!"

-- Thomas Ten Bears Ware
16 August, 2009
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"Amnesty International considers Leonard Peltier to be a political prisoner whose avenues of redress have long been exhausted....Amnesty International recognizes that a retrial is no longer a feasible option and believes that Leonard Peltier should be immediately and unconditionally released." Documents show that although the prosecution and government pointed the finger at Peltier for shooting FBI agents at close range during the trial in 1976, for three years the prosecution withheld critical ballistic test results proving that the fatal bullets could not have come from the gun tied to Leonard Peltier. This trial also denied evidence of self defense. The U.S. Prosecutor, during subsequent oral arguments, stated: "we can't prove who shot those agents". The Eighth Circuit found that "There is a possibility that the jury would have acquitted Leonard Peltier had the records and data improperly withheld from the defense been available to him in order to better exploit and reinforce the inconsistencies casting strong doubts upon the government's case." Yet, a new trial was denied. Judge Heaney, who authored the denial now supports Mr. Peltier's release, stating that the FBI used improper tactics to gain Mr. Peltier's conviction. A good way to learn about Leonard Peltier is to read his book: Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance. For excerpts, see the following link, under article by Louise Erdich: Time for Human Rights on Native Ground. This YouTube of Leonard reading his own words to music and photos is really beautiful. For more resources: Free Leonard Peltier!

July 28, 2009

Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee

In spite of scorching temps and humidity, there were several hundred people who attended and waited for several hours until attorney Eric Seitz came out and addressed the crowd. He said the FBI did not have anything new to say but that he was able to present some additional evidence on Leonard's behalf to the board. Leonard spoke with the board and answered questions for 1-1/2 hours. The hearing officer said he would look over his documentation and make a recommendation within 24-48 hours, at which time the parole board has up to 3 weeks to make a final determination. Leonard has expressed his thanks for all of the efforts made on his behalf today. Eric Seitz said he feels "optimistic."

We are receiving an outpouring of support from around the world, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu even today...

THANK YOU for getting the word out, please continue your efforts!
Here are some other things you can do to help Leonard!

The White House Comment Line (202-456-1111) has been busy all day; we have been provided another option. You can call the main White House line, which is 202-456-1414 which will get you into the system, and you'll be prompted to indicate that you want the comment line. Even though you'll probably be on hold for a few minutes, at least you will be able to leave your comment.

if you're feeling uneasy about case details - please take time to listen to our brother Wanbli. Broadcast was yesterday. Web site is:

27 July 2009 - Democracy Now!
Parole Hearing to Be Held Tuesday for
Imprisoned Native American Activist

28 July 2009 - 12,226 Days - CounterPunch
We All Stand Before Peltier's Parole Board
By Harvey Wasserman

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