[Ppnews] Eric Seitz - Leonard Peltier Attorney - Response on Parole Denial

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Aug 21 18:53:08 EDT 2009

Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2009 15:42:08 -0700 (PDT)

The Bush Administration holdovers on the U.S. Parole Commission today 
adopted the position of the FBI that anyone who may be implicated in 
the killings of its agents should never be paroled and should be left 
to die in prison. Despite judicial determinations that the 
unrepentant FBI fabricated evidence and presented perjured testimony 
in Leonard Peltier's prosecution; despite a jury's acquittal on 
grounds of self-defense of two co-defendants who were found to have 
engaged in the same conduct of which Mr. Peltier was convicted; 
despite Mr. Peltier's exemplary record during his incarceration for 
more than 33 years and his clearly demonstrated eligibility for 
parole; despite letters and petitions calling for his release 
submitted by millions of people in this country and around the world 
including one of the judges who ruled on his earlier appeals; and 
despite his advanced age and deteriorating health, the Parole 
Commission today informed Mr. Peltier that his "release on parole 
would depreciate the seriousness of your offenses and would promote 
disrespect for the law," and set a reconsideration hearing in July 2024.

This is the extreme action of the same law enforcement community that 
brought us the indefinite imprisonment of suspected teenage 
terrorists, tortures, and killings in CIA prisons around the world 
and promoted widespread disrespect for the democratic concepts of 
justice upon which this country supposedly was founded. These are the 
same institutions that have never treated indigenous peoples with 
dignity or respect or accepted any responsibility for centuries of 
intolerance and abuse.

At his parole hearing on July 28th Leonard Peltier expressed regret 
and accepted responsibility for his role in the incident in which the 
two FBI agents and one Native American activist died as the result of 
a shootout on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Mr. Peltier emphasized that 
the shootout occurred in circumstances where there literally was a 
war going on between corrupt tribal leaders, supported by the 
government, on the one hand, and Native American traditionalists and 
young activists on the other.

He again denied -- as he as always denied -- that he intended the 
deaths of anyone or that he fired the fatal shots that killed the two 
agents, and he reminded the hearing officer that one of his former 
co-defendants recently admitted to having fired the fatal shots, himself.

Accordingly, it is not true that Leonard Peltier participated in "the 
execution style murders of two FBI agents," as the Parole Commission 
asserts, and there never has been credible evidence of Mr. Peltier's 
responsibility for the fatal shots as the FBI continues to allege.

Moreover, given the corrupt practices of the FBI, itself, it is 
entirely untrue that Leonard Peltier's parole at this juncture will 
in any way "depreciate the seriousness" of his conduct and/or 
"promote disrespect for the law."

We will continue to seek parole and clemency for Mr. Peltier and to 
eventually bring this prolonged injustice to a prompt and fair resolution.

Eric Seitz - Leonard Peltier Attorney

contact at whoisleonardpeltier.info

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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