Incident at Oglala - The Leonard Peltier Story
Incident at Oglala - The Leonard Peltier Story
Leonard Peltier (born September 12, 1944) is an American activist and member of the American Indian Movement (AIM) who was convicted and sentenced in 1977 to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment for the murder of two Federal Bureau of Investigation agents during a 1975 shootout on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
There has been debate over Peltier’s guilt and the fairness of his trial. Some supporters and organizations consider him to be a political prisoner, although his murder conviction has survived every possible appeal in various courts. Amnesty International has stated that "Although he has not been adopted as a prisoner of conscience, there is concern about the fairness of the proceedings leading to his conviction and it is believed that political factors may have influenced the way the case was prosecuted. Numerous lawsuits have been filed on his behalf but none have succeeded.
Peltier is currently incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. His projected release date is October 11, 2040.
On July 28, 2009 Peltier was granted a full hearing before the United States Parole Commission. On August 21, 2009 US Attorney Drew Wrigley announced that Peltier’s parole request had been denied. Peltier's next scheduled hearing will be in July 2024.
Last edited by day; February 14th, 2010 at 05:27 PM.
Leonard Peltier beaten in prison
Posted by Brenda Norrell - January 22, 2009 at 2:29 pm
By Brenda Norrell
CANAAN, Penn. -- Leonard Peltier was jumped and severely beaten by a gang after being transferred from a prison in Lewisburg to Canaan on January 13. The family, however, was not notified by the prison and received the information by way of a letter from Peltier. Peltier, 64, was placed in solitary confinement.
"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 Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee said in a statement.
"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," LPDOC said.
Micheal Kuzma, an attorney for Leonard Peltier's defense, described the attack on Peltier in prison, during an interview with American Indian Airwaves with host Marcus Lopez, on Wednesday, Jan. 21. Kuzma said Peltier's sister Betty Peltier-Solano, executive coordinator of the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee, received a letter from Peltier, but was never notified by prison officials of the attack. Peltier was transferred from Lewisburg to Canaan prison during the week of Jan. 12th and attacked on the 13th, by other inmates.
Kuzma said, "According to the letter, he thinks he might have a concussion. His middle finger on his left hand is either broken or badly injured. He has a large bump near his right wrist. The right side of his rib cage and chest are in pain. He also has a bruise on the right side of his chest. He also has a bruise on his left knee, and is suffering from headaches. These headaches are a direct result of the Jan. 13 beating."
Peltier called his neice, Kari Ann Cowan, from the prison on Jan. 22. During the live online NAMAPAHH Blog Talk Radio hosted by Robin Carneen, Cowan relayed the information. It was Peltier's first phone call since the transfer and prison beating.
During the call, Peltier said he will not be allowed "out of the hole" and in the general population.
Peltier said Canaan is a tough place, where gangs are being brought in. "He is one of the oldest ones there," Cowan said. "He will not be allowed back in the general population or he will be jumped."
Cowan said the FBI did tell Peltier that he was the victim in the attack, which she said was filmed on camera.Peltier said he was set up in the attack. "It was a cold blooded setup," Cowan said. She said he did not know his attackers. "He has never seen his attackers before."
Peltier said he will be allowed only one phone call every 30 days.
Cowan said she is hopeful that President Obama will work "nation to nation" with the Turtle Mountain Chippewas to bring Peltier home to North Dakota.
"We have to push for his transfer, he is not safe there."
During the NAMAPAHH Radio program tonight, Peltier's attorney was called by the prison. The prison will not allow his attorney to speak to him the next day, January 23.
"It is outrageous," said attorney Michael Kuzma of Buffalo, N.Y, concerning the co-counsel the prison has denied entry to speak with Peltier.
"What are they hiding?" Kuzma said they have hidden documents before, but not Leonard.
"Now they are hiding Leonard Peltier."
Earlier, the report of the beating came by way of a letter from Peltier.
LPDOC said, "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 Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee said in a statement ."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," LPDOC said.
Recently, the amount of hate mail circulated on the Internet regarding Peltier and appeals for his release has increased and could have played a role in the attack on Peltier.
The LPDOC said, "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."
The LPDOC said the attack on Peltier comes on the heels of the FBI's recent letter, prompting this attack by FBI supporters as an attempt to discredit Peltier 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," LPDOC said.
In 1978, the US government made an attempt to assassinate Peltier, offering another Indian inmate at Marion prison with Leonard Peltier, a chance at freedom. The man was Standing Deer. Standing Deer befriended Peltier in prison and exposed the plot to assassinate him. Standing Deer was murdered in Houston after his release from prison.
LPDOC said, "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 and told him that he had better stay away from Peltier and anything to do with him," the LDPOC said. (An interview with Ben Carnes on Standing Deer and Peltier can be heard at Censored News Blog Radio or at Earthcycles on Longest Walk.)
As of December, Peltier is eligible for a full parole hearing. The hearing will likely occur this year, but no date has been announced, the LPDOC said.
Listen to Robin Carneen's NAMAPAHH First People's Radio on Blog Talk Radio:
NAMAPAHHRadio on Blog Talk Radio
Listen to American Indian Airwaves (last 20 minutes of program) on Jan. 21 at:
American Indian Airwaves - KPFK 90.7 FM
AIM West plans a protest in solidarity with Peltier to draw attention to the attack and call for his release on Friday in San Francisco. AIM WEST
For more information: LPDOC: Authentic (Only) Official Site - Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee
Updates at Censored News: CENSORED NEWS
Last edited by day; February 15th, 2010 at 06:14 PM.