Target: Barack Obama, president of the United States
Goal: Grant clemency to Leonard Peltier if he cannot be proven guilty without a reasonable doubt.
Leonard Peltier has been locked up for over 29 years on charges of killing two FBI agents. This is one of the most controversial imprisonments in U.S. history, with Amnesty International, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, National Congress of American Indians, the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Rev. Jesse Jackson, among many others, considering Peltier to be a political prisoner who should be immediately released.
The incident occurred on Pine Ridge Reservation and resulted in the deaths of two FBI agents and one Native American man. The dead Native American’s killer has never been pursued nor investigated and his death still remains a non-priority. Ironically, the two FBI agents that were killed had top priority and their case was pursued viciously, riddled with shaky accusations, false affidavits and desperate connections all made in an attempt to blame someone in the midst of a chaotic shootout.
Since this shootout took place on a reservation (which are ironically designed to give Natives sovereignty from federal and local governments), a jury found others with similar charges innocent on account of self-defense. What’s more is that the agents were shot at after they infiltrated a ranch within the reservation in unmarked cars, making it impossible to identify FBI presence, let alone a peaceful presence.
Since Peltier was in the same situation as these pardoned individuals, his case should have been dealt with in a similar manner. On the contrary, he has been continually denied parole and clemency despite national and international pleas for a long overdue release on grounds of reasonable doubt.
Sign this petition to urge President Obama to grant clemency to Leonard Peltier and release him from prison.
Dear President Obama,
I am writing this letter to express extreme disappointment and frustration with the handling of Leonard Peltier’s case. As you know, Leonard Peltier has been charged and imprisoned for the death of two FBI agents in 1975, when two unidentifiable agents infiltrated a family ranch where American Indian Movement leaders had set up camp.
The Pine Ridge reservation shootout took place within a sovereignty and therefore the actions taken by Peltier and any other Native Americans within the ranch were in self-defense. When Native Americans demanded that they be able to exercise their rights, the government declared war on them by attacking them instead of acting as allies and helping to rid of the corruption problem being protested.
Many others who were by Peltier’s side in 1975 have been pardoned based on self-defense and the lack of hard evidence connecting them to the two FBI deaths. There is such an abundance of reasonable doubt and chaos accompanying this case that there are many courses to be taken in order to release Peltier. Even a former judge who denied him clemency has now acted in support of his release based on the FBI using erroneous methods to convict him.
Please show mercy on this man who has served over 29 years for crimes that cannot be attributed to him. Release Leonard Peltier to undo injustice and instead promote the American ideal of justice for all.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Grant Neufeld