In his final day in office, President Obama has denied clemency to imprisoned Native American activist Leonard Peltier. Peltier was convicted of murder of tw0 FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota in 1975.
There is, and has been since the beginning, overwhelming evidence of Leonard Peltier’s innocence. Yet even today, in the age of the powerful, Indigenous-led Standing Rock uprising, and with Obama in the White House, there is still no chance that Peltier will be freed. Yet another symbol of this decrepit system–one which cannot be reformed, but must be transformed–from the bottom up.
Peltier’s attorney, Martin Garbus was notified of Obama’s decision earlier today. The Office of the Pardon Attorney wrote: “The application for commutation of sentence of your client, Mr. Leonard Peltier, was carefully considered in this Department and the White House, and the decision was reached that favorable action is not warranted. Your client’s application was therefore denied by the President on January 18, 2017… Under the Constitution, there is no appeal from this decision.”