Meticulously researched, this courageous book is the definitive work on the Peltier case. The author successfully defended against lawsuits brought in three different states, surviving an eight-year litigation designed to block the book's publication.
An innocent man, Native American activist Leonard Peltier was arrested in 1976 in connection with the deaths of two agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and wrongfully convicted in 1977. With no evidence whatsoever, the FBI decided to "lock Peltier into the case". Government officials presented false statements to a Canadian court to extradite Peltier to the U.S. Meanwhile, in a separate trial, Mr. Peltier's co-defendants were acquitted by reason of self defense. Unhappy with the outcome of that trial, prosecutors went judge shopping and venue hopping to secure a conviction. FBI documents prove that they went so far as to manufacture the so-called murder weapon. According to court records, the United States Attorney who prosecuted the case has admitted on several occasions that no one knows who fired the fatal shots. Although the courts have acknowledged evidence of government misconduct—including the coercion of witnesses, the intentional use of false testimonies, and the concealment of ballistics evidence reflecting his innocence—Peltier has been denied a new trial.
Imprisoned for nearly 40 years—currently at the federal prison in Coleman, Florida—Peltier has been designated a political prisoner by Amnesty International. Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, 55 Members of Congress and others—including a judge who sat as a member of the court in two of Peltier’s appeals—have all called for his immediate release. Widely recognized for his humanitarian works and a six-time Nobel Prize nominee, Peltier also is an accomplished author and painter.
The Peltier case has been examined by renowned author Peter Matthiessen ("In the Spirit of Crazy Horse") and by a documentary film produced and narrated by Robert Redford ("Incident at Oglala"). Author Jim Messerschmidt ("The Trial of Leonard Peltier") is convinced Peltier was convicted because the prosecution enjoyed free rein to manipulate highly inconsistent and contradictory circumstantial evidence.
Supporters worldwide believe freedom is long overdue for Peltier. The power to commute Peltier's sentence of two life terms rests with President Obama who has said "freedom and justice for all must begin with freedom and justice in the lives of individual human beings". Why not Leonard Peltier?
There are numerous ways to communicate with the modern White House. In addition to writing those all important letters to the president, you can call the White House comment line; send an e-mail (as an individual or for your organization); and post to White House pages on many social networks. So don't hesitate. Use all means available to urge President Obama to free Leonard Peltier. Do it and keep doing it until freedom is won!
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Foreword by William Kunstler. A well-documented and researched study, this book examines the orchestration by the federal government of the wrongful conviction of Native American activist Leonard Peltier.
Edited by Harvey Arden. Peltier chronicles life in prison. Peltier explores his suffering and the insights it has borne him in the context of American Indians and their struggle to survive.
We the People have read your Constitution, Mr. Obama. We also are aware of the clemency application review process (28 C.F.R. Part I, §§ 1.1-1.11) and know that these guidelines do not bind the President. Congress and the Department of Justice (DOJ) cannot regulate or otherwise limit the presidential clemency power. The authority to grant clemency to federal prisoners belongs only to the President of the United States (under Article II, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution). You have the power to grant clemency to anyone, for any reason, and at any time.