Public outcry to free Leonard Peltier is rising as even the chief prosecutor during Peltier’s 1977 trial and following appeal has signed a petition calling for Peltier’s clemency. Peltier was convicted of murder of tw0 FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1975.
TelesurTV.net reports the following:
In writing the letter, James Reynolds, who was the chief prosecutor during Peltier’s 1977 trial as well as a subsequent appeal, joins Nobel Peace Prize winners Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela and Rigoberta Menchu, as well as tens of thousands who have signed petitions calling for clemency for Peltier, who was convicted under dubious circumstances of the murder of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1975.
“It is truly extraordinary for the head prosecutor in such a politicized case to take a public stance contrary to the FBI. It is unprecedented to our knowledge,” said Martin Garbus, the lead counsel in Peltier’s petition for clemency. “We will urge President Obama to weigh Mr. Reynolds’ letter when considering Mr. Peltier’s case, and to examine the Petition with fresh eyes. We believe that Mr. Peltier’s conviction presents one of the greatest injustices in the history of the American justice system.”
Peltier has continually maintained his innocence and in the 40 years since the trial, original evidence continues to surface showing that Peltier was convicted under false pretenses. Amnesty International is just one of dozens of organizations who point out that a U.S. appeals court judge found that the FBI withheld key ballistics evidence showing Peltier’s gun did not fire the bullets which killed the two agents and that the key testimony used to extradite Peltier from Canada, where he sought asylum, was perjured.
Peltier’s name was in the news earlier this week when American University took action removed a 9-foot statue of Peltier from its campus after a Fox News report on the artwork and a letter from the FBI Agents Association to the school’s president.
Democracy Now! provides a video report below:
Global Justice Ecology Project’s own Ruddy Turnstone took part in a recent protest at Coleman, Florida at the Federal Correctional Complex where Peltier is incarcerated. The protest was organized as a coordinated effort across the nation to support prison strikes in September. The complex where Peltier is held has the largest prison factory in the country.
The protest was organized by Panagioti Tsolkas of the Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons and the Gainesville branch of the IWW labor union. Turnstone is the speaker in the video.
Video footage of that action is available below.
The following video contains strong language.