portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts united states

indigenous issues | prisons & prisoners

Supreme Court Rejects Indian Activist Peltier's Appeal

It's not so hard to believe that the Supreme Court would reject this appeal out of hand, with no explanation or comment, in this political climate. What's hard to believe is that the country stands by and allows this injustice to happen. All the hard work of Peltier's supporters has not made a bit of difference in the blatant misuse of the "Justice" system.

It's time to replace these judges; Conservatives over the past 2 decades, have carefully and quietly put these judges into place, judges who support and perpetuate oppression of First Nation peoples and all People Of Color. Now we all need to use the same tactic, and get judges in place who we believe in. It's time the peoples' lawyers get our support and get put into positions where they can make a difference.

Vote. Write Letters. Develop alternatives. Make a difference. The U.S. has 5 % of the world's population and 25% of the world's prison population. Mayoral Primaries for Portland are in a month.
Supreme Court Rejects Indian Activist Peltier's Appeal
Mon Apr 19, 2004 10:12 AM ET

By James Vicini

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court rejected
on Monday an appeal seeking parole for American Indian
activist Leonard Peltier, who was convicted for the
1975 killings of two FBI agents.

Without any comment, the justices let stand a U.S.
appeals court ruling that denied Peltier's bid for a
parole hearing and for release from prison.

Peltier, whose case has received international
attention, has been in federal prison in Leavenworth,
Kansas, serving two consecutive life sentences for the
slayings of the agents on the Pine Ridge Indian
Reservation in South Dakota.

FBI agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams got into a
firefight with Indians when they went to the
reservation to arrest four people charged with armed
robbery. The agents were wounded from a distance,
became incapacitated and were killed by shots fired at
point-blank range.

At issue was a U.S. Parole Commission decision that
Peltier was ineligible for parole until Dec. 31, 2008,
because he ambushed the agents before executing them.
A U.S. appeals court in Denver last year upheld the
commission's decision.

Peltier's lawyers appealed to the Supreme Court.

They said the appeals court "erroneously" affirmed the
commission decision and claimed government misconduct
during prosecution of the case because of withholding
of evidence and coercing witnesses to testify falsely.


Because of the commission decision, Peltier will have
to serve at least double the sentence he would have
received under federal guidelines, his lawyers said.
They said he should have been eligible for parole
after more than 16 years in prison.

"For over 28 years, Mr. Peltier has suffered indignity
and injustice," Attorney Carl Nadler wrote in asking
the high court to hear the appeal.

"It truly is a sad commentary upon our judicial system
and our government that a man must suffer 28 years in
prison because 'someone' must pay for a crime that the
government could not prove he committed," Nadler said.

Four people were charged in the slayings. Two were
acquitted and the government dropped its case against
a third. Peltier escaped to Canada and was later
extradited, tried, convicted and sentenced.

Peltier has unsuccessfully brought a number of appeals
challenging his conviction and sentence.
what a dumb-ass 20.Apr.2004 14:19

indian reader

peltier has been cry-babying for 26 years now, well i got one sentence for him...can't do the time, don't do the crime. mr. tough guy aim-activist should have done the deal 25 years ago, maybe he would've got out 5 years ago, maybe 10. there's little doubt that he's been railroaded, but only peltier was/is responsible for peltier's actions. if he wasn't where he was that day, he wouldn't be where he is this day, simple as that. peltier was there that day and knows what happened. if he didn't do the killing, he knows who did. either way, he'll rot before he sees daylight. besides, no should have to go out the way them two agents went out. peltier is a dumb-ass for thinking that he can get away with killing, not one federal agent...but two federal agents, on technicalities and anyone else who thinks he can is even dumber. i think monkeys will fly out of his butt first, before he'll see daylight.

Duh. 20.Apr.2004 19:51

Myrtle Poor Bear

He should have never been extradited from Canada.