Leonard Peltier’s Appeal

Against the Current, No. 183, July-August 2016

LEONARD PELTIER, THE Native American activist who has been imprisoned for over 40 years — even though the U.S. government admitted decades ago that it doesn’t know who killed the two federal agents for whose murder Peltier was falsely convicted — has appealed for executive clemency.

Designated a political prisoner by Amnesty International, Peltier is the highest profile American Indian prisoner incarcerated in the United States. James Anaya, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, visited Peltier two years ago and called for his release.

Peltier has always maintained his innocence. As the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee explains, “Prosecutors and federal agents manufactured evidence against him…hid proof of his innocence; presented false testimony obtained through torturous interrogation techniques; ignored court orders; and lied to the jury.”

Now 71, Peltier suffers from a number of medical problems including severe diabetes, hypertension, a heart condition, and most recently abdominal aortic aneurysm. As President Obama’s term of office comes to a close, pressuring the White House to provide clemency is essential. For details about Peltier’s case, see http://www.whoisleonardpeltier.info/home/clemency/.

July/August 2016, ATC 183