Archive for Saturday, August 22, 2009

Leonard Peltier denied parole

August 22, 2009


— American Indian activist Leonard Peltier, imprisoned since 1977 for the deaths of two FBI agents, has been denied parole after authorities decided that releasing him would diminish the seriousness of his crime, a federal prosecutor said Friday.

Peltier, who claims the FBI framed him, will not be eligible for parole again until July 2024, when he will be 79 years old.

U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley announced the decision of the U.S. Parole Commission.

Peltier is serving two life sentences for the execution-style deaths of FBI agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams during a June 26, 1975, standoff on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. He was convicted in Fargo, N.D., in 1977.

He has said the FBI framed him, which the agency denies, and unsuccessfully appealed his conviction numerous times. He also was denied parole in 1993.

“Leonard Peltier is an unrepentant, cold-blooded murderer who executed FBI special agents Williams and Coler, and in doing that he tore them from their families and from their communities forever,” Wrigley said. “Leonard Peltier is exactly where he belongs — federal prison, serving two life sentences.”

An angry defense attorney Eric Seitz declined to comment Friday, saying the Parole Commission had not had the “courtesy” to inform him of the decision. “We’ve heard nothing,” he said.

Parole Commission spokesman Tom Hutchison said the board notifies both sides of a decision, and can’t control whether one party makes it public before the other can be notified.

Peltier had a full parole hearing for the first time in 15 years last month at the Lewisburg, Pa., federal prison where he is being held.

The hearing was closed to the public, but Seitz said he focused on factors that would support parole. He said a representative from the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa reservation in North Dakota, where Peltier grew up, said the tribe had made arrangements to incorporate Peltier back into society should he be paroled. Seitz also said Peltier has had no documented misconduct in prison in the past 10 years.

Wrigley said Peltier’s past criminal conduct while behind bars was a factor in the Parole Commission’s decision. In 1979, Peltier escaped for a time in California, and he also has had numerous infractions in prison, some of them drug-related.

Wrigley also said that Peltier “has neither accepted responsibility for the murders nor shown any remorse.”

Seitz said earlier that the 64-year-old Peltier is in poor health, with diabetes, high blood pressure, a jaw problem and a urinary system ailment.

Parole was abolished for federal convicts in 1987, but Peltier remains eligible because he was convicted before then.


number3of5 8 years, 10 months ago

As a person who has read up on the trial and conviction, Leonard is not guilty. But the Federal Government feels the need to make an example of an innocent man

            Free Leonard Peltier!

Kris_H 8 years, 10 months ago

Even if he were guilty, could he not be released on "compassionate" and "medical" grounds like the Lockerbie bomber just was? (Yes, I realize that's a different country etc., but the principle involved seems much the same to me).

Monica Miller 8 years, 10 months ago

Isn't that precious. . .now we have compassion for cop-killers. Bless their lil hearts!

Amy Heeter 8 years, 10 months ago

If you read the documentation you would know Leonard is innocent and therefore not a "cop killer"

verity 8 years, 10 months ago

"Wrigley also said that Peltier 'has neither accepted responsibility for the murders nor shown any remorse.'”

Might that be because he didn't do it?

somebodynew 8 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, youngcsi - I just can't wait to read this column after some of our more notorious posters wake up and get on here. Well, actually I probably won't be able to stomach it and will skip over most of them.

kansastruthteller 8 years, 10 months ago

So Kris_H you support what Scotland did? A man killed nearly 300 people, served 7 years and is let go to a hero's welcome in his home country and you think that it is the right thing to do. Your compassion is misguided. Instead of directly it to murderers I suggest it be directed to the victims and their families.

jonas_opines 8 years, 10 months ago

That's what Jesus would have done, right?

fallingwhilereading 8 years, 10 months ago

If you read about the incident. They also know which officer killed the native girl trying to bring food onto the reservation. Why wouldn't the government prosecute him? Also why wasn't everyone who was involved in the cover up of her killing by law enforcement have not had to answer for their involvement of a crime? Why isn't the medical examiner who wrote on her death certificate" she died of exposer to the weather" Didn't put into the death certificate report there was a bullet still in her head? Why didn't the FBI come under scrutiny for cutting her hands off to try to send them to Virginia to ID the girl. Then some how loosing her hand in transport. Where was the department of justice? Also the government still says they never used heavy weapons. Funny I've been to the sight. They should have cleaned up the 50 cal. shells before saying that. You can still walk around, and pick them up. Sorry for the grammar typing got to go.

cato_the_elder 8 years, 10 months ago

Arrhythmic, "corrupt" FBI agents? By the way, it's "Kiwanis" (I doubt whether they would ever admit you as a member), and "Life of Riley." You may be obsessed with Bill O'Reilly. If so, I'm sure you can find help.

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