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Peltier's Parole Denied Before Hearing Completed?

1) Leonard Peltier Defense Committee's Press Release
United States Parole Examiner Refuses to Consider New Evidence

2) A Disregarded Letter to the Parole Board
Leonard Peltier Support Focuses on Clemency Campaign 2000

1) Leonard Peltier Defense Committee's Press Release
United States Parole Examiner Refuses to Consider New Evidence

June 12, 2000

United States Parole Examiner Refuses to Consider New Evidence

Native American rights activist, Leonard Peltier was reviewed for parole today during a hearing held at Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary in Kansas. The Hearing was held to determine whether there is any reason why the Parole Commission should change their 1993 decision to deny Peltier parole. Today Peltier's representatives told the Commission that Peltier's health, serious family needs, and his positive program achievements were all reasons for the Commission to reconsider their denial of parole to Peltier. They also argued that the Commission's original decision to deny parole was wrong. They said the Commission has yet to justify their reasons for denying his release in excess of what their guidelines recommend.

The Parole Examiner refused to read a report from Dr. Peter Basch who, after reviewing Peltier's recent medical records, determined that problems with Peltier's health could result in "recurrent central retinal vein occlusion, stroke, heart disease, and kidney failure." The doctor also noted that several of Mr. Peltier's health problems had not been treated appropriately by prison medical staff.

Attending the parole hearing were representatives for Amnesty International, the National Council of Churches, the National Congress of American Indians, and the Assembly of First Nations. Legal council included attorneys Jennifer Harbury, Carl Nadler, and former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark. Jean Ann Day, survivor of the Pine Ridge "reign of terror" also testified.

The Parole examiner did not respond to pleas from Amnesty International or the National Council of Churches, and he showed no interest in the eight parole plans offering Peltier housing and employment from various Native Organizations and tribes.

Furthermore, the examiner refused to accept or consider the 10,000 letters collected over the last three months from US citizens, human rights organizations, luminaries and members of the international community supporting Peltier's release.

Without deliberation or the consideration of any documents presented, the parole examiner recommended that Peltier's sentence be continued until his next full parole hearing in 2008. Those in attendance reported that the examiner wrote the denial while the presentation was still being made.

Peltier's defense council will continue to protest the Parole Commission's denial of parole to Peltier in federal court. Supporters will continue efforts to gain Peltier's release through a grant of Executive Clemency. Leonard Peltier was originally convicted for the murders of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. However, formerly withheld documents supporting Peltier's innocence would later force the prosecution to admit that they could not prove who actually killed the agents. Despite this, Peltier has remained in prison for 24 years. Amnesty International considers him to be a political prisoner who should be immediately released.

Call the White House Comments Line Today
Demand Justice for Leonard Peltier! 202-456-1111

Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
PO Box 583
Lawrence, KS 66044
To subscribe, send a blank message to < >

For NPR's June 12, 2000 story on Leonard for Democracy NOW!
(scroll down half the page to story)


2) A Disregarded Letter to the Parole Board
Leonard Peltier Support Focuses on Clemency Campaign 2000

The following letter was one of the thousands denied review by the Parole Board. However, this letter by Flyby News editor, Jonathan Mark, was published with minor revisions as a letter to the editor on June 8, 2000 in the "Recorder" newspaper, Greenfield, Massachusetts.

The best chance to now end the unjust continued imprisonment of Leonard Peltier is from his petition for Presidential Executive Clemency, which has been in limbo since filed in 1993. The review for the Clemency process usually takes six to nine months. In almost six years the Justice Department has not responded to President Clinton's request for their recommendation.

Re: Leonard Peltier's Parole Hearing -- June 12, 2000.

May 30, 2000

Dear Parole Commission:

I have requested that the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee bring this letter and enclosures to share my support for the parole of Leonard Peltier. The volume of letters on his behalf is not nearly as significant as the evidences showing his innocence and the unfair treatment that he has received. He was extradited fraudulently from Canada. From a CBS-TV 60 Minutes interview, I learned that the U.S. knowingly used a false affidavit signed by Myrtle Poor Bear, who said she was threatened and coerced by the FBI to agree that she saw Peltier shoot FBI agents Coler and Williams. The prosecution also withheld key ballistic tests showing Peltier's rifle was not the rifle used to kill the agents. The Jury never learned of this and other important facts regarding Peltier's innocence.

Leonard Peltier was at the Jumping Bull Ranch in 1975 to protect families. More than 60 uninvestigated homicides occurred on Pine Ridge over a three-year period. Those murdered were traditional Lakota, who received many threats from FBI-supported Tribal Council Leader, Dick Wilson. On the same date as the shootout, 1/8 of the Pine Ridge Reservation was turned over for U.S. gold and uranium mining interests. Was this coincidence or related during the time still called by Lakota as the "Reign of Terror?"

I hope you read Leonard Peltier's book, Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance. When I read it, I appreciated his courage, integrity and suffering. The continued imprisonment of Leonard Peltier destroys U.S. leadership role for justice and human rights. We cannot erase the wrongs of the past, but we can go on in a better direction. Twenty-four years is a long time for a human being to be in prison, especially when evidences of abuses are apparent by U.S. justice and law enforcement policies.

Please grant Leonard Peltier parole.

With best regards,

Jonathan Mark

[Please note,you can subscribe for the Leonard Peltier Support Group of Greater New England E-mail Updates by sending an E-mail to with subscribe in subject field.]


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