[News] Peltier hearing to address Lakota Nation Sovereignty

News at freedomarchives.org News at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jun 7 08:18:42 EDT 2005



June 3, 2005
Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PELTIER HEARING TO ADRESS LAKOTA NATION SOVEREIGNTY

As Mark Felt, one of the main responsible FBI officers overseeing
illegal counterintelligence programs targeting the American Indian
Movement and other groups in the 60s and 70's, is hailed as a hero for
catalyzing the toppling of the Nixon administration, Leonard Peltier
approaches his fourth decade of unjust imprisonment.

Today, from the perspective of the U.S. government, everything is
excusable in the war theatre, even as the world questions U.S. policies
and actions that point unequivocally to human rights abuses. A puppet
government, people murdered and terrorized, that was the climate in the
Pine Ridge reservation in 1975 when two FBI agents were killed in a
shootout. Leonard Peltier and fellow warriors responded to the call for
protection from the Oglala Lakota people, but he was blamed for the
deaths of the agents and is serving two consecutive life terms for that.


However, his defense team has been granted a hearing to correct his
illegal sentencing. The basis for this motion is that the United States
District Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction under the statutes
upon which Mr. Peltier was convicted and sentenced.  The statutes in
question require that the crime take place "within the special maritime
and territorial jurisdiction of the United States".  Since the deaths of
the agents occurred on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation which is
neither "within the special maritime [or] territorial jurisdiction of
the United States", the Peltier defense team is asking the Court to
grant Mr. Peltier's motion and vacate the illegal sentences imposed upon
him.  If the Court does not recognize the Pine Ridge Reservation as
sovereign "then one must wonder, what does sovereignty mean?" stated
Barry Bachrach, attorney for Leonard Peltier. "Sovereignty seems to be a
concept that is given merely lip service. It is raised when the
government does not want to get involved, and infringed when the
government wants to take action." As Bachrach further stated, "This
hearing is important because Mr. Peltier was never charged with crimes
over which the United States had jurisdiction. The history of the
constitution, and the statutes implicated, unequivocally establish that
Mr. Peltier was not convicted under the Indian Crimes Act, which is the
only possible authority under which the government could have tried and
convicted Mr. Peltier. Whereas here, the court had no jurisdiction to
convict Mr. Peltier under the crimes for which he was convicted, those
convictions must be set aside as a matter of law."

The hearing will take place on Wednesday June 15th, 2005 at 2:00 PM at
the Quentin N. Burdick U.S. Courthouse in Fargo, North Dakota (655 1st
Ave. North - 4th Floor, Courtroom 1).

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
RUSS REDNER, LPDC DIRECTOR, 915-533-6655 or TOLL FREE 866-534-6151
BARRY BACHRACH, LPDC ATTORNEY, 508-926-3403
RAQUEL ROBLES BURNET, LPDC HEADQUARTERS, 785-842-5774

THE COURT DOCUMENTS WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON FOR VIEWING AT:
www.freeleonard.org and www.leonardpeltier.org

The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977
www.freedomarchives.org 
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://freedomarchives.org/pipermail/news_freedomarchives.org/attachments/20050607/a0327efc/attachment.html>


More information about the News mailing list