Leonard Peltier, a Native American activist has once again been denied an appeal. The United States Bureau of Prisons recently moved him from the maximun security prison in Leavenworth, to a prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. How much more must this man endure by the hands of this government!
The US Prosecutor Lynn Crooks has clearly admitted "we can't prove who shot those agents". This does not sound like a man who is convinced beyond a reasonable doubt on the guilt of Leonard Peltier. So why Mr. Crooks do you still hold him captive?
The 10th Circuit Court stated "much of the government conduct on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and in the prosecution of Mr. Peltier is to be condemned. The government withheld evidence. It coerced witnesses. These facts are undisputed."
This case is clear cut evidence to what lengths the FBI will go to get "their man". They manipulated the system to meet their own agenda through the misuse and abuse of power. They railroaded Peltier using false affidavits to convince the Canadian government to extradite him. Agents Price, Skelly and Woods, held and used a mentally ill native woman. Under duress and severe mental torment she submitted an affidavit stating she was at the Jumping Bull ranch, also was the girlfriend of Peltier and she saw him shoot the two agents. She has since recanted these allegations, stating the FBI forced her into making the statements. The damage had already been done, Peltier was now in the United States. The Canadian government upon learning the truth behind these false affidavits demanded the return of Peltier. These demands fell on deaf ears.
The ballistics expert lied in Peltier's trial, stating that he had a clear match for the purported weapon Peltier had shot the agents with, this stemmed from a shell casing found at the crime scene. Later through the release of documents it was learned that the expert lied and fabricated the evidence to ensure a conviction, he was verbally reprimanded by the federal court for his professional misconduct. The U.S. Marshals used threats and intimidation on the jury by sequestering them, implying the American Indian Movement was trying to harm them. Periodic sweeps were done in the court room and the judges chambers once again to give the impression of implied threat. What an horrific misuse of power! They placed fear in the hearts and minds of all involved to ensure a guilty verdict.
Mr. Peltier has continuously denied the murder of the two FBI agents. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals found that Peltier may have been acquitted had the FBI not withheld valuable evidence, a new trial however was denied due to a legal technicality. Judge Heaney, presiding over the appellant hearing, has expressed his support for Peltier's release. Peltier has a long list of supporters that include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Amnesty International, Robert Redford, Ramsey Clark former U.S. Attorney General, The late Mother Teresa, National Congress of American Indians and many people from around the world.
It is time for the native community to heal from the crimes committed to them by this country. Is it not time for justice in the Peltier case? When will freedom ring? For more information on Leonard Peltier, please contact:
For more information concerning Leonard's plight please visit his offical website.