5 Reasons President Obama Should Release Leonard Peltier

Leonard Peltier

Leonard Peltier

Leonard Peltier was a leading member of the American Indian Movement (AIM), an activist group that was involved in promoting the rights of “traditionalist” Indians during a period of intense conflict in the 1970s. On June 26, 1975, during a confrontation involving AIM members on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota, FBI agents Ronald Williams and Jack Coler were shot dead.

Leonard Peltier was convicted of their murders in 1977 and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences. Leonard Peltier does not deny that he was present during the incident. However, he has always denied killing the agents as was alleged by the prosecution at his trial. Here are 5 reasons he should be released:

1) A key alleged eyewitness to the shootings was Myrtle Poor Bear, a Lakota Native woman who lived at Pine Ridge. On the basis of her statement that she had seen Leonard Peltier kill Ronald Williams and Jack Coler, Leonard Peltier was extradited from Canada, where he had fled following the shootings. Although Myrtle Poor Bear later retracted her testimony, the trial judge refused to allow Leonard Peltier’s attorneys to call her as a defense witness on the grounds that her testimony “could be highly prejudicial to the government.” In 2000, Myrtle Poor Bear issued a public statement to say that her original testimony was a result of months of threats and harassment from FBI agents.

2) In 1980, documents were released to Leonard Peltier’s lawyers as a result of a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act. The documents contained evidence which might have assisted Leonard Peltier’s case, but which had been withheld by the prosecution at trial. However in 1986, the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Eighth Circuit denied Leonard Peltier a retrial, stating that: “We recognize that there is some evidence in this record of improper conduct on the part of some FBI agents, but we are reluctant to impute even further improprieties to them.”

3) In 1991, Gerald Heaney, the judge who presided over Leonard Peltier’s 1986 appeal hearing, expressed his concerns about the case. In a letter to Senator Daniel Inouye, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs, Gerald Heaney wrote that he believed “the FBI used improper tactics in securing Peltier’s extraction from Canada and in otherwise investigating and trying the Peltier case.” He added: “Although our Court decided that these actions were not grounds for reversals, they are, in my view, factors that merit consideration in any petition for leniency filed.”

4) The U.S. Parole Commission has held a number of parole hearings on Leonard Peltier’s case. However, it has always denied parole on the grounds that Peltier did not accept criminal responsibility for the murders of the two FBI agents. This is despite the fact that, after one such hearing, the Commission acknowledged that “the prosecution has conceded the lack of any direct evidence that you personally participated in the executions of two FBI agents.”

5) Leonard Peltier is currently imprisoned in Florida, approximately 2,000 miles from his family in North Dakota. It is a physical hardship for his family to visit him, and almost impossible financially. As a result, he is very rarely visited by his loved ones. Leonard Peltier is now aged 69 and in poor health, suffering from diabetes, among other things.

In sum, Amnesty International has studied his case extensively over many years and remains seriously concerned about the fairness of proceedings leading to his trial and conviction. Amnesty believes that political factors may have influenced the way in which the case was prosecuted.

Leonard Peltier’s most recent petition for release on parole was denied by the U.S. Parole Commission in 2009, and Amnesty understands that he is not eligible for consideration for parole again until 2024.

Given that all available legal remedies have been exhausted and that Leonard Peltier has now spent more than 36 years in prison, Amnesty believes that in the context of these ongoing concerns, the U.S. authorities should order Leonard Peltier’s release from prison on humanitarian grounds and in the interests of justice.

Take action: Urge President Obama and Charles E. Samuels Jr., Director Federal Bureau of Prisons, to free Leonard Peltier.

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

85 thoughts on “5 Reasons President Obama Should Release Leonard Peltier

  1. Since Clinton pretended to be sympathetic and then never released Peltier, what are the chances that this president who orders drones strikes against people he has never met based on intel he gets from his government agents is going to release a man the government has always contended should be held accountable for the deaths of the two FBI agents?

  2. we have evidence that Peltier was involved with the killing of Annie Mae Agwash. She was a member of AIM and they (AIM) took it upon themselves to murder her. I stood up for Peltier until I learned of that murder. Amnesty International Stands up fo a lot of good things and I support them in getting things right but in this case i wish they would contact Annie's family and learn the truth about Peltier

    • The smear campaign intiated by Anna Maes daughter, Denis Pictou Maloney is a product of hated towards AIM. Can't blame her for wanting to find out the truth, but reality is the past cant be changed just because most of her lies are based on "dead people confiding to her before they died." I was at the Oglala Shoot out and can tell you by eye witness account that Peltier was Anna Maes brother. I've witnessed separate events where Anna Mae was being confronted by people and Peltier stood beside her and protected her. There were other people witnessed it also. So when U say you have evidence "Bring It On!" Same thing I've Told Denise! Can't change history even if you try to reword it!

    • No actually you do not what you have is the word of three women, all related one to the other. Kamook was paid by the FBI for her testimony, money is a powerful tool. When you stand for nothing you fall for anything. You were not there so you only know what you hear and I heard that Kamook is now married to an agent how convenient for her eh? Do not be fooled into believing their hog wash, look for the cold hard facts, Anna Mae had an affair with Dennis, women got jealous because she was a beautiful woman, well respected so they did what they had to do……………slander her good name. FACT


    • So we do justice by keeping someone imprisoned because someone suspects he might have committed some separate crime? If the first trial was arguably unfair, what exactly is convicting without trial?

      If sufficient evidence exists (my understanding is that it doesn't, unless you believe in guilt by association) then charge him and give him his day in court. Otherwise, judge his 'case' as you would, and should, any other: by the fairness of his original trial (including misconduct by the FBI) and factors affecting the cruel and/or unusual nature if his continued imprisonment (including age, health, time already served, inability to have contact with family etc, and alternatives to physical incarceration).

      Also remember the nature and purpose of the pardoning powers given the executive. Just as the FBI protecting it's own led to this conviction, what his release would represent to the indigenous peoples of our nation (esp in light if our history with them) is absolutely a proper consideration to take into account.

    • The truth is the judge who sentenced him has admitted that there never was enough evidence to convict Peltier. This is more of an FBI vendetta.

  3. In Honor of Annie Mae Pictou Aquash , Naguset Eask ( Sunwoman) . 37 years ago the one person who would have passed on this art form to her children and grandchildren was stolen from our family and Nation. Murdered by those who claimed to be traditional warriors themselves, Annie Mae represents many women who are taken in our own communities by our own community members. For 29 years our family waited for justice and in 2004 and 2010 AIM members Arlo Looking Cloud and John Graham were tried and convicted for the murder of our mother thru four trials that resulted in 2 convictions, 1 guilty plea and an acquittal. Those who conspired to have her executed lied and blamed the FBI and spun decades of lies to hide the fact that AIM members had murdered one of their own women. These individuals still walk free and profile themselves as advocates for missing and murdered woman while publically supporting her murderer John Graham. I want to thank all of you who worked so hard to give our family the opportunity to set the record straight and to share the truth after decades of lies. My daughter and I both "learned" to bead while doing this project and I wept to think that in a way my mother still managed to "teach " me how to bead. The circular design is a copy of a Mi'kmaq Petroglyph that represents the "Sun" in honor of my mother Naguset Eask (Sunwoman). The Scroll design is a traditional designed used on clothing by the Mi'kmaq and Maliceet. Welalin from Mi'kmaki, Denise Pictou Maloney xo
    Back to Album
    Denise Pictou MaloneyWalking With Our Sisters.

    this is just a small example of the evidence overlooked or just plain unknown to AIUSA I ask you look into this more before you stand up for someone who we think is complacent in the murder of Annie mae

  4. Along with Amnesty International, The United Nations, The National Congress of the American Indians; Veterans and esteemed elders of the Civil/ Human rights movement, Pete Seeger, Harry Belafonte; and Jackson Browne, Danny Glover, Michael Moore, Common, Mos Def, Rubin Hurricane Carter, Margo Thunderbird, Bill Miller, Tom Poor Bear, ect…all stood up together in concert and stated to President Obama, 'Bring Him Home!"

    • White men and their sidekicks, with a Black man there for tokenism. Standing up for other men. Women don't factor at all in men's wars they aren't even counted among the slain and dead. Welcomed in the kitchen and the bed, slain when they prove they are human.

      We won't let her be forgotten or push aside the work her daughters have done so the racist left and their sidekicks can play saviour.. Make sure you post his pix as he looks now. Kind of wrecks the warrior hero leader image that the left likes to present of their icons.

  5. what part did leonard play in the part of kiddnapping , rape and murder of the late Anna Mae Aquash around the same time in south dakota ? of course he wont admit , why would he ?

    • Anne, even though I do not know you personally, I can only surmise after a statement such as yours, that you have fallen into the "brainwash pit" of lies propagated by Annie Mae's daughters and some government officials. Her daughters were not there with their mother during her time with her AIM brothers and sisters, so all they have to go on is the gossip of now dead women. Read the comments posted by Geri Timmons and Jean Roach. Yes, there were 2 men convicted of her murder, but neither of their names were Leonard Peltier.

    • I know Leonard and I used to speak to his cousin, Bob Robideau, prior to his death about many things that revolved around that time of terror on Pine Ridge. Geri is exactly right-Annie Mae had an affair with Dennis Banks and due to his stature in AIM along with the fact that he was (and still is) an extremely handsome man, there were many women that were jealous of Annie Mae's relationship with him. I will tell you this…Leonard may be many things to many people, BUT he is NOT a murderer or a conspirator to murder. Like many others, he was simply trying to help his traditional brothers and sisters to be safe from the savage killings of the Lakota people that lived on Pine Ridge during that turbulent time. BTW-did you happen to know that out of all of the murders of Native people on Pine Ridge during that time that were AIM supporters, that these 2 men were the ONLY ones that were even tried for murder? Not one single person has EVER spent one day behind bars for the multiple other murders that happened there during that time. As a matter of fact, none of those murders were even investigated.

    • Did you also know that our illustrious government officials cut Annie Mae's hands from her body and sent them to the FBI lab for "identification" purposes, even though agents on Pine Ridge at the time KNEW who she was and that she was affiliated with AIM. I feel sorry for her daughters and other family members because they lost Annie Mae, but there is much more to that particular story than any of us will EVER know.

  6. The Chiefs, Headmen, First ladies, and 18 year old citizens of this country and the sovereign nation, are all gathered in general assembly. We are speaking to you, Amnesty International, by the understanding that we have. Some of us are historians; some of us are researchers of the Indian tribes and some of us are true scholars and educators. We do have the supreme understanding. We are assembled in truth within the prayers of our nation. We are very concerned about Leonard Peltier and all the political prisoners of this country. Since the 1890's, through the civil rights days through today, there have been many Human Rights violations committed against our people.
    We want you, Amnesty Int., to understand the injustice that happened to Leonard Peltier in the district court, the 8th circuit court, to the Supreme Court. Let's help each other to develop a concern. We believe in the rights of our elders. As we look at the calendar years and the winter counts we have decided that there is no justice for Leonard Peltier in what we call, America.
    We are the TRUE grand jury of the rights of Leonard's case. Some of us are elders, some of us are young people, some of us are Chiefs and Headmen and some of us are Women that bring the generation of life. We seek International support for the release of Leonard Peltier. We have a great doubt of the case and we believe his conviction to be false. There are the Democrats and the Republicans and we are the Buffalo party of the beginning of the creation. We have a delegation to hand deliver this manifesto to your committee. So let's look at a joint assembly in support of freedom for United States political prisoner, Leonard Peltier.
    A Ho, Mitakuye Oyasin,( All My Relations)
    Hecetu Welo,
    Chief Leonard Crow Dog
    Lakota Nation

  7. Amazing to think that murderers convicted with irrefutable evidence don't do this length of time in prison. So unjust that this man has spent the bulk of his life in prison due to governmental corruption. It's disgusting. He should be released immediately with presidential apology and due compensation. The whole thing is so unjust.

  8. He should be freed.. He hasn't much time left. Let him spend it with his family . the system cheated him out of a life now the system needs to act in a human way and free him. They are only holding him because to release him would mean they wrongly convicted him . and they don't want that.

  9. Leonard Peltier features in David Lippman's song 'If You Can See Me', which I heard sung by Rebel Voices. His verse goes:

    A once proud nation, reduced to reservations,
    They used their goons to terrorize.
    We had a duty to defend our families
    From the corruption, guns, and lies.
    The FBI came, they played that old game:
    Divide and conquer to maintain oppression.

    I am not famous, I'm not Mandela,
    But I am imprisoned in a jail.
    My name is Leonard, Leonard Peltier
    And this land is not for sale.

  10. The question that ought to be asked is what part did COINTELPRO play in all this? Everything. Leonard Peltier is innocent and must be granted clemency.

  11. The Anna Mae I knew when visiting in Vancouver, BC during those days would be the first to stand against the INJUSTICE done to Leonard or any AIM / Indigenous person … even if it meant her life ~ which it did.
    She had a big heart and great compassion … it is time for those who grieve to move on … the Anna Mae I knew would want that. Clemency for LEN >>>>
    Hoka Hey ~ Hetchetu aloh! Aki'cita, Ino'ka
    Wakan Tanka nici un ~ Mitakuye Oyasin

  12. U.U.W.S. & L.P.D.O.C. Black Hills Chapter stands in 100% in Unity and Solidarity for the Release of Leonard Peltier…Dont like? Tuff Shit……We will see him free!….

  13. All eyes on Obama to grant Clemency for Leonard Peltier.
    But what about the thousands of documents the FBI refuses to release?
    Are they not important anymore?
    Can they expose the truth about FBI's dirty war on Native American peoples?
    Do they contain direct proof of Leonard's innocence?
    Freedom for Leonard Peltier and all the victims of the COINTELPRO !

  14. My sincere appreciation to Amnesty International for once again and continuously stepping up to support Leonard Peltier! I would like to add to this blog a few additional reasons why Leonard should be granted Executive Clemency. Leonard is one of the longest held Political Prisoners in The United States of America; certainly he is one of the most well-known both Nationally and Internationally. Do not doubt that he is the only one. At 68 years of age with multiple chronic and acute health needs that have been undertreated, mismanaged, and ignored throughout his incarceration, Leonard needs to be home with his family & friends. Leonard’s health is now seriously declining through medical negligence and he has not been given his necessary medications yet he does his best to remain actively involved in seeking Justice for himself and so many others!
    Why is Leonard so Important?
    • He is more than America’s (and the World’s) most infamous/famous Political Prisoner; he is a Human Being.
    • He has come to represent “Everyone” who has faced any form of Injustice upon their person by any Government, Bureaucratic Agency, or Corporation.
    • He is considered “dangerous” because he holds on to his Personal Integrity and Spiritual Belief systems and he refuses to admit guilt for a crime he has not committed; he is a Man of Honor.
    • As a staunch Human Rights activist for his own Native people and ALL other people and an Environmentalist, he has done more work while Incarcerated than most “Free” people.
    • He has had his Constitutional, Civil, Legal, Treaty, and Human Rights repeatedly violated and stripped away, and we too have for years been in the process of seeing our “Democratic” rights slowly melt away by those who substantiate their own Greed, Power, and Prejudices.
    • For almost 4 decades he has been *tortured by The United States Government and its agencies which include the FBI, The Justice System, and the Penal System. *referenced by the United States Constitution, the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the Geneva Convention.
    Thank You. In Peace.

  15. Please pardon Leonard Peltier, Mr. President. He was set up to take the fall ………… His innocence has been documented since the 70's….shameful, wrong and biased…………another man of color doing time for a crime he did not commit…..disgusting US railroad job………..let him go !!

  16. I am expressing my views and support of Leonard Peltier and to ask for Executive Clemency. I am a law abiding, tax payer and concerned citizen, and feel that based upon our countries morals, integrity, and support of humanitarianism, release is of paramount significance.
    I feel that it is relevant to point out that Leonard Peltier has been incarcerated thirty-seven years based upon what our very own courts have admitted was fabricated evidence, both withheld, and then later discovered to be tampered and questionable. These very courts have admitted that Leonard Peltier did not commit the murders of the FBI agents and ballistics prove this at the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1976. It is clear Leonard Peltier was persecuted based upon his beliefs and refusal to accept the injustices imposed upon the peoples at Pine Ridge Reservation during that time.
    Because of these facts, I feel that our system has failed, and the continued incarceration of Leonard Peltier is a sad commentary of our government and the humanitarian values we profess to have for each other.
    Leonard's issue is our issue because he is an example to all of us of a man who took action to defend his people against actions that have eroded freedom and liberty worldwide.
    It is unconscionable to me that this honorable, innocent man is still incarcerated for the following reasons:
    Although innocent he has been a model prisoner and has spent his time helping others.
    From his prison cell he raises money for others in need and started programs to aid his people in and out of prison.
    Leonard is an inspiration and mentor to all youth. Children study his case in high school and college and inevitably find him innocent.
    He sponsors children in other countries, his grandchildren and sponsors an annual Christmas toy clothing and food drives for the children at Pine Ridge Reservation
    Leonard Peltier donates his artwork to several human rights & social welfare organizations to help them raise funds
    Leonard Peltier has been widely recognized for his humanitarian works and his helping of others is legendary.
    How can anyone keep a man like this locked up? Can you imagine how much more he could do if he were free?
    He has obviously dedicated his life to helping others. He is now elderly, ill and needs to go home. Isn’t it our time to help him? Please grant him Executive Clemency now.

  17. So it's hard for his family to bisit. How hard is it for the dead agents families to visit?

    • Those 2 agents knew EXACTLY what they were doing, when they went onto the Jumping Bull property illegally. They were 2 hotshots that were trying to make a name for themselves in the bureau. If they had not acted as they did, they might actually still be alive today. I feel for their families because they lost a loved one. However, 2 wrongs never make a right. OH..and did you know that thru the Freedom of Information Act, Leonard's legal representation has learned that the gun that Leonard had with him that day was tested at the FBI lab and the final report showed that it was NOT his gun that killed those agents??

  18. Sincere appreciation to Amnesty International for once again stepping up for Leonard. I would like to add some additional reasons for the necessity to have President Obama grant Leonard Executive Clemency sooner rather than later; time indeed is of the essence! Leonard is one of the longest held Political Prisoners in The United States; certainly he is one of the most well-known both Nationally and Internationally. At 68 years of age, Leonard's health is seriously deteriorating yet he remains actively involved in seeking Justice!!

    Why is Leonard so Important?

    • He is more than America’s (and the World’s) most infamous/famous Political Prisoner; he is a Human Being.
    • He has come to represent “Everyone” who has faced any form of Injustice upon their person by any Government, Bureaucratic Agency, or Corporation.
    • He is considered “dangerous” because he holds on to his Personal Integrity and Spiritual Belief systems and he refuses to admit guilt for a crime he has not committed; he is a Man of Honor.
    • As a staunch Human Rights activist for his own Native people and ALL other people and an Environmentalist, he has done more work while Incarcerated than most “Free” people.
    • He has had his Constitutional, Civil, Legal, Treaty, and Human Rights repeatedly violated and stripped away, and we too have for years been in the process of seeing our “Democratic” rights slowly melt away by those who substantiate their own Greed, Power, and Prejudices.
    • For almost 4 decades he has been *tortured by The United States Government and its agencies which include the FBI, The Justice System, and the Penal System. *referenced by the United States Constitution, the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the Geneva Convention.

    Thank you so very much. In Peace.

  19. someone should ask anna mae aquash's now adult children and granchildren how it was growing up without a mother. keep him in prison

    • Anyone can create a video these days. This is a cut and paste job intended to portray Peltier in a bad light. The content has nothing whatsoever to do with his case. This and other comments on this blog are in fact made by persons affiliated with former agents of the FBI. Fact. Let's face it. The Internet is an unedited free-for-all, with self serving, credentially challenged bloggers and tweeters capriciously conveying rumor and gossip and hunches as "fact".

  20. i am a dutch woman and I don't understand that this can happen in the US. Keeping a man in prison for 36 years for something Leonard did not do. I wrote to Leonard in prison and I wrote to Michelle Obama and also to Barack Obama. He is the one who can release Leonard. YES HE CAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I hope that Obama has the courage to do something. This is a very simple thing to do.

  21. I would like to think that Amnesty International really believes they are standing up for a real injustice however if they had really researched everything concerning the trial and the deaths of the two FBI Agents and the death of Anna Mae Aquash they would come to the same conclusion the jury did and keep Leonard Peltier right where he is and where he belongs. I sympathize only with his family who may have to travel farther to visit him but keep in mind the families of the ones he helped murder will never get to visit or talk to their loved ones. For those who are trying to free him why dont you investigate the trial instead of just jumping on the bandwagon to free a guilty man.

    • Vanessa! Seems like u jumped on a band wagon! Before u jump to conclusions it would be nice if u did your own homework/research… Amnesty international did its research. Apparently you haven't read up on the history of Peltier's case, otherwise you would be writing about the serious misconduct of the FBI and the Peltier case. Or U could write about the "cointelpro" program the FBI targeted towards the American Indian Movement and others. Or maybe you could write about the hundreds of people killed during the "reign of terror" on the Pine ridge Res. And their families who will never have JUSTICE because their deaths were not properly investigated. Soo while your riding the bandwagon you might clean off your rose colored glasses! FREE PELTIER!

      • Nice Jean….and you are so right. Some people have not done their "homework" and fully read this case. Vanessa truly jumped on bandwagon before she knew what was what. Anyone that has done their "homework" on Peltier's case KNOW he is an innocent man…..and he NEEDS to be set FREE!

  22. I would ask the "cyber jockeys" to get their facts straight … unfortunately a few vocal people are involved in the continuous "misinformation campaigns" that Amnesty International must deal with WORLD WIDE … invest some time in digging deeper and you will be part of the solution, not the problem. If you choose to ignore the facts, you only reveal your lack of "humanity" … just pray you are never "unjustly accused" !!!

  23. I sent a letter to Leonard last week. & also to the White House. Raising the issue of his on- going incarceration.
    I would, with respect, reiterate my request that Leonard Peltier# 89637-132 – be given his FREEDOM on the grounds of EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY.
    In The Spirit of Crazy Horse! Mitakuye Oyasin

  24. It’s apparent that Zeke Johnson needs to do more research for A.I.; there is much more than just the Peltier folklore-rhetoric-talking points. As for the five reasons, let’s add the following:

  25. 1) Poor Bear: The final word on Peltier’s extradition comes not from Peltier but the Canadian government and the Minister of Justice who stated “…that Mr. Peltier was lawfully extradited to the United States.” Poor Bear did not testify against Peltier at trial, and for good reason as noted from the trial transcript by the 8th Circuit

    • This does not change the horrific fact that the phoney Poor Bear Affidavits were composed by FBI agents David Price and Ed Wood ( not Woods) and Poor Bear was coerced into signing them when the two agents threatened her by holding up pictures of the mutilated body of Annie Mae Aquash, and told her that they'd do worse to her if she didn't sign them. "They'd put her through a meat grinder." ( See interview in Robert Redford's, "Incident at Oglala." They also threatened to take her kids away from her. How many FBI agents are sitting in a cell for the HUMAN RIGHTS violations? Maybe a world court needs to be convened?

  26. ““Her testimony was at times very vague, and she often responded that she could not remember. Indeed, the defense counsel, anticipating that she would be called as a witness for the government, described her in his opening statement as a “witness whose {F.2nd 333} mental imbalance is so gross as to render her testimony unbelievable”” Yes, let’s repeat that, “the defense counsel,” Peltier’s attorney, threw her under the proverbial bus when they thought she would be a witness against Peltier.

  27. Long before the Internet (in the 1970s & 1980s) I hand-wrote letters in support of Political Prisoners at the request of Amnesty International. There were so many from various countries that it was hard to keep up with them all. Occasionally I would hear that progress was made. With the onset of the Internet information can be shared now with greater ease. Amnesty has been able to benefit the lives of many Political Prisoners in a number of countries. It is hard in the USA as our government disavows Political Prisoners here while admonishing harsh treatment to Prisoners elsewhere. Leonard Peltier may be one of our most known Political Prisoners, but he is not our only one! I am very Thankful that Amnesty spreads the awareness of the problems within our Justice System to the public-at-large. I've noticed comments on this blog that are disrespectful to both Amnesty International and Leonard Peltier. This is truly uncalled for. The discussion here is NOT about Leonard's guilt or innocence (I do believe in Leonard's innocence and have studied his case), it is about the fraud, perjury, corruption, malfeasance, and more used by the federal government in the case of Leonard Pelter (and most certainly in other cases as well). The USA has violated its own constitution and laws in keeping Leonard imprisoned. Again I Thank Amnesty International for their persistent and continuous support for Justice. I do hope others may become aware and leave their prejudices behind. In Peace.

    • Hi Zeke- Yes a dialogue would be nice. I'd also like to discuss the Human Rights violations of the FBI from the inception of their organization. It's well noted that J Edgar Hoover was a rampant racist and known supporter of the Nazi party. COINTELPRO is inherently evil and has violated the rights of us all but you'd be hard pressed to find any FBI agents sitting in a cell paying for their crimes against humanity. I'd like to respond to Mr. Woods with our own blog. Why should we give weight to the opinion of such a man that used a member of the the Nazi party as an FBI snitch and then went as far as to get him an illegal pass into the U.S army with FBI snitch "privileges" despite the fact that he molested an 11 year old girl? So, yes, let's have a dialogue indeed. Peltier's false conviction is a product of FBI miss-conduct and it's time that we start hol;ding the true criminals and culprits responsible. Remember, they swore on an oath to the constitution and they should be held accountable for violations against this:

  28. The FBI continue their hate campaign against Leonard Peltier. If they were the true representatives of justice the trial would not be a burning topic garnering support from around the world. They violated his basic human rights to a fair trial and continue to use their position of authority to entice people into their mode of thinking; brain washing. The trial is a glaring example of the lies and the manipulation of the system by the very people hired to protect and serve. Leonard Peltier's guilt or innocence play no role, it is the FACT that he was not afforded a fair and impartial trial. The FBI lied, coerced the witnesses, fabricated the murder weapon and created not one but 3 corrupted subpoenas by a mentally ill woman Myrtle Poor Bear. They shamefully deceived the US court system and the trial judge. If a civilian committed these atrocities they would be in prison. The FBI have a long history of wrong doings, need I remind you of Waco, Ruby Ridge to name only two. It is time for Leonard Peltier to return home to his people, it is time for the native community heal from all the wounds inflicted by the government! Please President Obama grant Leonard Peltier his freedom, he is of no threat to what we call society. It has been 38 years, when is enough really enough!

  29. America is a country that promotes itself as a 'land for the free and the home of the brave' yet violates the very foundation it was built upon! The facts speak for themselves, no matter how hard some attempt to re-write the history. The irrefutable fact is that Leonard Peltier's basic human right to a fair, impartial trial was grossly violated i.e. refusing to allow exculpatory evidence, fabrication of the ballistics report, coercion of witnesses, intimidation to name only a few! In the name of justice it is time to release Leonard Peltier! Enough is enough!

  30. ZEKE: Interesting…have made several attempts to post but apparently the censors object.

    I would like to have a dialogue…if AI feels it must support Peltier, let's make certain the facts are accurate.

    I would invite and welcome a meaningful discussion with you.


  31. Clemency or … The principle of habeas corpus ensures that a prisoner can be released from unlawful detention—that is, detention lacking sufficient cause or evidence. The remedy can be sought by the prisoner or by another person coming to the prisoner's aid. This right originated in the English legal system, and is now available in many nations. It has historically been an important legal instrument safeguarding individual freedom against arbitrary state action.
    Can Amnesty International file a writ of habeas corpus for Leonard???

  32. FREE LEONARD PELTIER and the hundreds of other prisoners whose constitutional and human rights have been violated by the same people have vowed to protect them. Right from the start when the grand jury convened in Rapid City, SD, 1975, constitutional rights were violated when the govt denied my brother (who was 12 yrs old) and myself (14 yrs) access to our lawyers during the grand jury hearing .We were both at the 1975 firefight in Oglala. Many people complained they were given subpoenas without being signed by a judge.I never seen one! They also invaded our home, with no warrants, and physically manhandled me even though I was in an accident the night before and had several stitches on my face. The sad part was they made the little children cry with their guns pointed at them. YEA we were only kids our selves. The majority of people involved in the fire fight were under the age of 18. This type of house invasions were the norm on the reservation when the FBI went Door to Door looking for suspects. Numerous people, on and off the reservation, experienced this type treatment during the FBIs investigation. Then Peltiers case was manipulated by the US govt in the beginning with the introduction of Myrtle Poor Bears false affidavits to the Canadian govt. Who in their right mind would invent a witness and play her as Peltier "girlfriend because Canada would not extradite Peltier without an "eyewitness."Then in Fargo, while on trial Peltier was denied his right to call Myrtle Poor Bear as a witness because Judge Benson ruled her "irrelevant." Myrtle stated she was threatened to cooperate. This is only a couple of examples of how constitutional rights were violated. Just a small fraction of the many, many constitutional Rights violations that happened and is happening related directly to his case. Peltier Case has been targeted with violations of Treaty rights, state rights and federal rights to date. Today he is denied of proper medical treatment while beingunlawfully held in prison. Not being able to hold his grandchildren and enjoy life as a FREE man who only PROTECTED his people from lawless law enforcement. Yea u cant change history with lies. The manipulation of Peltier continues with the rumors he was connected to his SISTER'S (Anna Mae's) murder. So disturbing because people are trying to cover the VIOLATIONS by trying to discredit him. Lets look at the case! Why the "change of venue" from Iowa to ND, it was because co-defendants, Robideau and Butler, were acquitted on the basis of "self-defense". Changing to Judge Bensons court ensured, by ruling," no FBI misconduct" of any kind would be allowed to be introduced as a defense.. HELLO….How unfair or weird is this? Look closely! Let the TRUTH PREVAIL! FREEDOM FOR LEONARD PELTIER!!!

  33. Leonard Peltier is innocent, plain and simple. The two people that were with him were acquitted. Shouldn't he be innocent as well. The two FBI agents were terrorizing the people at the compound and I know the people were fleeing the residence when the agents were shot.

  34. I have written Obama, more than once, on this, but clearly, these pleadings with him are falling on DEAF ears. I cannot BELIEVE Obama does not see ANY comments on Leonard Peltier's freedom! He just plain and simply won't DO anything about it! Wounded Knee, Oglala, Pine Ridge…none of those incidences are enough, are they? They have to keep a good man, Peltier, down too?? Are you kidding me???? They even release a white terrorist due to ill health, but they have not released PELTIER yet??? Get REAL…..do what is RIGHT and RELEASE Leonard Peltier, if this country is so great!!! He did not DO this crime!! Geez!!

  35. According to Peltier's Wikipedia article, which cites Peltier, Prison Writings, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999, p. 125; The Bureau by Ronald Kessler, St. Martin's Press, 2003, p. 356., Peltier admits shooting at agents (attempted murder). He only denies that he successfully killed them. So unless I'm missing something, please stop saying he's innocent. The only argument is about exactly how many crimes he committed, or perhaps whether being a minority makes it OK to shoot at cops.

    • The agents fired first, were there under a bogus "warrant" on stolen boots, were actually sent there to start a firefight as evidenced by the massive, military-like response that manifested within 15 minutes, and had done NOTHING to investigate the hundreds of murders that took place on the reservation. The FBI has its dirty hands all over this.

  36. Truth If Leonard was one of those right wing nut cases that are defending Cliven Bundy,the welfare cowboy,and threatened federal agents while hiding behind their women,he would have been released years ago.
    Leonard Peltier is not guilty. I know,I was there.But they would not allow my testimony.

  37. All anyone has to do to know the truth is read the trail transcripts as I did back in 1985. There are so many flaws in the arguments of the prosecutor that anyone can see that there was no case. The government has continually denied that the whole thing was a travesty of justice. It's disgusting. FREE the poor man, NOW.

  38. It is now 2015 and still this continues. What will it take? What can be done? If Leonard is not allowed to be released, what hope does that leave for anyone ? May Creator God help us all ! Please all pray !

  39. Send President Obama "Incident at Oglala" to watch. There's NO way anyone could watch that and believe he was guilty!