President Obama, Right a wrong, free Leonard Peltier while there is still time.
Leonard Peltier , Ojibwa-Sioux from Turtle Mountain, North Dakota, is the longest held Native American political prisoner in the U.S. He was wrongfully convicted in the 1975 killing of two F.B.I. agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.
A participant in the American Indian Movement, Peltier went to assist the Oglala Lakota people on the Pine Ridge Reservation in the mid-70s where a tragic shoot-out occurred on June 26, 1975 resulting in the deaths of two FBI agents and one Native American whose death has never been investigated.
Two others were tried for the murder of the agents and found not guilty by reason of self-defense. Mr. Peltier was tried after a change of venue to North Dakota. In his trial Mr. Peltier wasn't allowed to put up a self-defense argument. Several of the witnesses later recanted their testimony claiming they perjured themselves because of threats from the FBI.
Key witnesses were banned from testifying about FBI misconduct. The U.S. Prosecutor failed to produce a single witness who could identify Peltier as the shooter.
The government now admits they have no idea who killed the agents and
the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that Peltier's trial and previous appeals had been riddled with FBI misconduct and judicial impropriety including: coercion of witnesses, perjury, fabrication of evidence, and the suppression of exculpatory evidence which could have proved his innocence. The Court called the FBI's misconduct "a clear abuse of the investigative process". Yet they ruled against a new trial for Leonard Peltier because they were "reluctant to impute further improprieties to them (FBI)."
While incarcerated Mr. Peltier has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and in spite of being behind bars has an incredibly impressive list of human rights achievements as well as having made his mark as an artist. This is a remarkable man who has made remarkable contributions to the world. Free Leonard Peltier now!
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