This was written by a local journalism student who has done an excellent job explaining some crucial realities MANY American families are enduring. It's the first article I have submitted in awhile and I think it is important enough to be shared all around. THANK YOU!!!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR BLESSINGS~~~~
THIS IS LONG BECAUSE IT HOLDS A LOT OF HELPFUL &/OR IMPORTANT INFORMATION CONCERNING LEONARD PELTIER.
From Leonard’s Defense Committee
Eric H. Holder, Attorney General Designate U.S. Department of Justice 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20530-0001 AskDOJ@usdoj.gov
Re: Leonard Peltier #89637-132
Dear Attorney General Holder:
I am writing today to provide you with a number of serious concerns stemming from the case of Mr. Leonard Peltier and explain how this case impacts all US citizens.
• Mr. Leonard Peltier, is an American Indian that has been imprisoned since 1976, convicted based on fabricated testimony, circumstantial evidence, extraordinary FBI influence and falsified test results. (Appellate Court findings)
• He was sentenced to two life sentences for “aiding and abetting” when two other persons tried for the same exact crimes were found not guilty because the jury said they were acting in self defense based on the climate of fear pervading the Pine Ridge Reservation at the time. Whom was he aiding and abetting?
• No federal employee was ever investigated or found responsible for the killing of Joe Stuntz, who was killed at the same Jumping Bull property in 1975. Further there are a number of American Indians that were killed under questionable circumstances on Indian reservations or at Wounded Knee in 1973, while no federal official have ever been charged with their deaths.
• Since 1976 repeated requests for files concerning Leonard Peltier, from the Federal Bureau of Investigation under the Freedom of Information Act have been unsuccessful. The typical response has been that the files were misplaced or lost, and sometimes after years of waiting the FBI responds with a vague “no”.
• Title 18 Section 4206 (d) states that “Any prisoner serving a sentence of five years or longer shall be released on parole after serving 2/3 of each consecutive term or after serving thirty years of each consecutive term including any life term”. Congress has stated and the Courts have ruled in other cases that Title 18 of the United States Code 4205(a) means that time served is equal to ten years in the case of a life sentence. The law says that a prisoner serving a life term shall be released on parole after serving thirty years if they were not released on parole after 20 years. The most a prisoner would serve is 30 years. This has held true except in the case of Leonard Peltier who has been in prison for 33 years.
• In late 2008 the Turtle Mountain Reservation passed a resolution calling for Leonard Peltier’s release into their custody. Leonard Peltier is an enrolled member of Turtle Mountain. Tribal officials at Turtle Mountain were willing and able to meet almost any given conditions set forth by the Parole Board or the Bureau of Prisons, however they were not given the opportunity to even discuss this alternative, their status as a sovereign nation was totally ignored and Leonard Peltier transferred to Canaan, PA on January 12th, 2009.
• Beginning in October 2008, friends, family and supporters have repeatedly e-mailed, called, and written to the Bureau of Prisons asking for consideration in Leonard Peltier’s imminent transfer. While one recognizes that there are many factors for the BOP to consider, we only asked that he either be transferred to Turtle Mountain facility or closer to home. Instead Mr. Peltier was placed in a facility even further from his home and family making it unreasonably burdensome for them to visit him.
• Once Mr. Peltier arrived at the Canaan prison facility, he was jumped by younger inmates, severely beaten, put in solitary confinement and placed upon meal restrictions despite his having diabetes and other medical conditions. The family has requested copies of the video tapes of that incident to no avail. It is as if the whole scenario was contrived to detract from the fact that Mr. Peltier has been a model prisoner having more than enough points to qualify for parole.
• Retired, former and actively employed FBI agents have taken action against the release and parole of Leonard Peltier time and again. While it is their right to speak their opinion, it is not right to do so on federal time and at the taxpayer’s expense. Their letters, writings, articles, books, protests, outcries and interviews concerning Mr. Peltier, are a conflict of interest and tip the scales against him unfairly. In addition, it is certainly questionable as to the timing of a letter written by a former FBI Agent to Representative John Conyers and the beating Mr. Peltier received at Canaan.
It is apparent to me and many others that there are numerous violations of Mr. Peltier’s civil, constitutional, and human rights in the federal government’s quest to punish someone for the deaths of two FBI agents.
Justice has not been fair or blind to Mr. Leonard Peltier who has spent more than half of his life in prison. He is at 64 years old, in failing health and his life expectancy in prison is shortened greatly. And so I ask for your swift review of his case and release him so that he can spend the rest of his natural life with friends and family. The release of Leonard Peltier will go far in repairing the faith of the American people in the justice system and restore hope to many American Indians who otherwise have given up on the federal government’s promises. Thank you.
Mr. President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500
Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Complaints Office of the Inspector General U.S. Department of Justice 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Room 4706 Washington, D.C. 20530
Harry J. Lappin, Director Federal Bureau of Prisons 320 First St., NW Washington, DC 20534
Kathleen M. Kenney Assistant Director/General Counsel, Federal Bureau of Prisons 320 First St., NW Washington, DC 20534
Morris L. Thigpen, Sr., Director National Institute of Corrections 320 First St., NW Washington, DC 20534
All Possible Media Outlets – Television, Radio, Print All Elected Federal Officials
More new news~
A mans life hangs in the balance! Barbara
January 21, 2009
I just placed a call 570-488-8000 to the Canaan Federal Prison, Pa. And at first all I got was a strange sound so I hung up and dialed again. This time, pushing the button to inquire about a prisoner! A man answered, I said I was Barbara Williams of the Dare To Dream Network, and he asked if I was inquiring about a prisoner. I answered yes! Leonard Peltier, and this man Immediately told me that they have no such person there. I, being upset by this obvious lie, said what sort of fool do you think I am and hung up!
With that my phone rang, immediately, and when it was answered we Heard that same odd sound I heard when I made my first call...Tracing US?
This is yet another reason why "We" Americans must do something to help Leonard Peltier before they finally kill this innocent man! Ask yourself: What are they afraid of? I received a lie from this man who answered the phone. It would seem that Canaan Federal Prison picked up my phone number for future; WHAT?
Please do what you can to make this Canaan Federal Prison 570-488-8000 understand that the American people will not tolerate this treatment of thisman, Leonard Peltier,nor any prisoner!
No doubt this latest game plan has much to do with the recent push, especially on Obama's site Change.org, to have Mr. Peltier released! Please do your part to bring attention to this man who recently received a very bad beating when moved from one prison to another! Leonard is a diabetic and it seems that they will deprive him of food as well!
His sisters email is below...I "Dare" Dream that "We" Americans can do this! "We" must! The treatment of political prisons, given the last eight years, should be alarming to US all! Could someone you love wind up in one? Heads out of the sand! These are sorry times! Torture has become the norm!
Get in touch with your state and Washington legislators... Canaan Federal Prison, Pa. 570-488-8000<+++++ Make the call...Barbara
Subject: FW: Leonard Peltier brutalized, life in jeopardy!
---------- From: Flyby News <Flyby@flybynews.com> Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2009 11:18:43 -0500 To: Flyby News Alert <FlybyNews@flybynews.com> Subject: Leonard Peltier brutalized, life in jeopardy!
Flyby News Alert - www.FlybyNews.com 21 January 2009 Jonathan Mark, editor, publisher
Notes: Following is an extremely urgent letter from Leonard Peltier's sister.
Please consider taking action in any way you can to stop Leonard Peltier's murder in prison.
Subject: URGENT ALERT! Leonard Peltiers safety is in jeopardy! Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2009 17:20:21 -0800 (PST)
Dear LP Supporters
I am so OUTRAGED! My brother Leonard was severely beaten upon his arrival at the Canaan Federal Penitentiary. When he went into population after his transfer, some inmates assaulted him. The severity of his injuries is that he suffered numerous blows to his head and body, receiving a large bump on his head, possibly a concussion, and numerous bruises. Also, one of his fingers is swollen and discolored and he has pain in his chest and ribcage. There was blood everywhere from his injuries.
We feel that prison authorities at the prompting of the FBI orchestrated this attack and thus, we are greatly concerned about his safety. It may be that the attackers, whom Leonard did not even know, were offered reduced sentences for carrying out this heinous assault. Since Leonard is up for parole soon, this could be a conspiracy to discredit a model prisoner.
He was placed in solitary confinement and only given one meal, this is generally done when you won't name your attackers; incidentally being only given one meal seriously jeopardizes his health because of his diabetes. Prison officials refuse to release any info to the family, but they need to hear from his supporters to protect his safety, as does President Obama. His attorneys are trying to get calls into him now.
This attack on LP comes on the heels of the FBI's recent letter, prompting this attack by FBI supporters as an attempt to discredit LP as a model prisoner. Anyone who has been in the prison system knows well that if you refuse to name your attackers or file charges against them, then you lose your status as a victim and/or given points against your possible parole and labeled as a perpetrator.
It is not uncommon, in fact is quite common for the government to use Indian against Indian and they still operate under the old adage "it takes an Indian to catch an Indian". In 1978, they made an attempt to assassinate him through another Indian man who was also at Marion prison with LP. But Standing Deer chose to reveal the plot to him instead of taking his life in exchange FOR A CHANCE AT FREEDOM. When Standing Deer was released in 2001, he joined the former Leonard Peltier Defense Committee as a board member. He also began to speak on Leonard's behalf until his murder six years ago today. Prior to his murder, Standing Deer confided with close friends and associates that the same man who visited him in Marion to assassinate Peltier, had came to Houston, TX and told him that he had better stay away from Peltier and anything to do with him.
We are aware that currently, the FBI is actively seeking support for his continued imprisonment of Leonard Peltier and also also seeking support from Native People. So please be aware, and keep Leonard in your prayers. The FBI is apparently afraid of the impact we are having. If they will set him up to blemish his record just before a parole hearing, what will they do when it looks like his freedom will become a reality? We need to make sure that nothing happens to him again!
Please write the President, send it priority or registered mail. Email to Change.gov or email President Obama. Call your congressional representatives and write letters, not email, to them. Do what you can to get the word out to insure that LP is receiving adequate medical attention for his injuries.
I am asking you, supporters of Leonard and advocates of justice at this time to help. I don't know what else to do. Please Help!
Thank you Betty Peltier-Solano Executive Coordinator Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee
Also call and request Leonard be treated with dignity and respect. Canaan Federal Prison 570-488-8000
<><><><><><><><><> Free Leonard Peltier -- "Amnesty International considers Leonard Peltier to be a political prisoner whose avenues of redress have long been exhausted....Amnesty International recognizes that a retrial is no longer a feasible option and believes that Leonard Peltier should be immediately and unconditionally released." Documents show that although the prosecution and government pointed the finger at Peltier for shooting FBI agents at close range during the trial in 1976, for three years the prosecution withheld critical ballistic test results proving that the fatal bullets could not have come from the gun tied to Leonard Peltier. This trial also denied evidence of self defense. The U.S. Prosecutor, during subsequent oral arguments, stated: "we can't prove who shot those agents". The Eighth Circuit found that "There is a possibility that the jury would have acquitted Leonard Peltier had the records and data improperly withheld from the defense been available to him in order to better exploit and reinforce the inconsistencies casting strong doubts upon the government's case." Yet, a new trial was denied. Judge Heaney, who authored the denial now supports Mr. Peltier's release, stating that the FBI used improper tactics to gain Mr. Peltier's conviction. A good way to learn about Leonard Peltier is to read his book: Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance. For excerpts, see the following link, under article by Louise Erdich: Time for Human Rights on Native Ground. This YouTube of Leonard reading his own words to music and photos is really beautiful. For more resources: Free Leonard Peltier!
Fifty years ago today, at age 7, I was getting settled in our new missionary community near a hospital in West Africa. Over the the next 2 1/2 years I had free-run of the hospital and spent extensive time rocking orphaned babies in the maternity ward, and, playing with the children at the small orphanage across the road. I saw the deepest poverty. We visited 20 countries around the globe, but the wonderful Africans have remained with me in my soul. Now, living in Ohio's Appalachian region of rampant poverty, my heart cries for the families here.
Tonight we watched the American Idol "America Gives Back" special, I cried many tears of sadness, yet tears of happiness when seeing those wonderful sweet African faces again, and, see America's poverty, too. Therefore, I am asking not just a personal favor, but a favor for the future of our world, when I plea:
Won't you, PLEASE, donate to this wonderful compassionate endeavor?
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