[Ppnews] Support Parole for Leonard Peltier - Hearing July 27
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Sat May 23 10:34:14 EDT 2009
Leonard Peltier's first full parole hearing was held in 1993, at
which time his case was continued for a 15-year reconsideration. On
Wednesday, it was announced (in Portland, OR) that Mr. Peltier has
recently applied for and been granted a parole hearing. The hearing
is scheduled for July 27, 2009. All supporters are encouraged to
step up their efforts in support of parole for Leonard Peltier.
Letters in Support of Parole
It is really important that everyone write letters in support of
Leonard's petition for parole. These letters can be quite simple
and should cover the basic points important for parole decisions. A
sample letter follows. Feel free to use it, but know that it's even
better if you write one in your own words. Be courteous and concise.
Get as many people to sign similar letters, as well. Carry a sheaf of
spare letters with you. Get one signature per letter, that is, rather
than using a petition format. Mail them to the Parole Commission,
but also send copies to the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee
(contact information below).
Guidelines for General Supporters
First, we ask that you sign the online at
Next, draft correspondence to the U.S. Parole Commission. A sample
United States Parole Commission
5550 Friendship Boulevard
Chevy Chase, MD 20815-7286
Re: LEONARD PELTIER #89637-132
Convicted in connection with the deaths on June 26, 1975, of
Ronald Williams and Jack Coler, agents of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, Mr. Leonard Peltier remains imprisoned at the United
States Penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.
The court record in this case clearly shows that government
prosecutors have long held that they do not know who killed Mr. Coler
and Mr. Williams nor what role Leonard Peltier "may have" played
in the tragic shoot-out.
Further, in a decision filed by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
on December 18, 2002, Mr. Peltier's sentences "were imposed in
violation of [Peltier's] due process rights because they were based
on information that was false due to government misconduct," and,
according to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, in 2003: ".Much
of the government's behavior at the Pine Ridge Reservation and its
prosecution of Leonard Peltier is to be condemned. The government
withheld evidence. It intimidated witnesses. These facts are not
Despite these admissions, Leonard Peltier has served over 33 years
After careful consideration of the facts in Leonard Peltier's case,
I have concluded that Leonard Peltier does not represent a risk to
the public. First, Leonard Peltier has no prior convictions and has
advocated for non-violence throughout his prison term. Furthermore,
Leonard Peltier has been a model prisoner. He has received excellent
evaluations from his work supervisors on a regular basis. He
continues to mentor young Native prisoners, encouraging them to
lead clean and sober lives. He has used his time productively,
disciplining himself to be a talented painter and an expressive
writer. Although Leonard Peltier maintains that he did not kill
the agents, he has openly expressed remorse and sadness over
Most admirably, Mr. Peltier contributes regular support to those
in need. He donates his paintings to charities including battered
women's shelters, half way houses, alcohol and drug treatment
programs, and Native American scholarship funds. He also coordinates
an annual holiday gift drive for the children of the Pine Ridge
Leonard Peltier is widely recognized for his good deeds and in
turn has won several awards including the North Star Frederick
Douglas Award; Federation of Labour (Ontario, Canada) Humanist of
the Year Award; Human Rights Commission of Spain International
Human Rights Prize; and 2004 Silver Arrow Award for Lifetime
Achievement. Mr. Peltier also has been nominated for the Nobel
Peace Prize six times.
Leonard Peltier is now over 60 years of age-a great-grandfather-and
suffers from partial blindness, diabetes, a heart condition, and
high blood pressure.
I recognize the grave nature of the events of June 26, 1975,
and I extend my deepest sympathy to the families of those who
died that day. However, I find aspects of this case to also be of
concern and I believe Leonard Peltier deserves to be reunited with
his family and allowed to live the remaining years of his life in
peace. I also believe that, rather than presenting a threat to the
public, Mr. Peltier's release would help to heal a wound that has
long impeded better relations between the federal government and
Thank you for your time and consideration.
(Your Street Address)
(Your City, State, and Zip Code)
For Family and Friends
As with any professional correspondence, your support letter should
be on letterhead (if you have Microsoft Word or another similar
program you can easily create professional-looking letterhead from
a template). The letterhead should include all of your contact
information including your name, address, phone number(s) and e-mail
address if applicable.
Describe your relationship with Leonard -- how do you know him, for
how long, etc. Write about his character, and his accomplishments
both before and during imprisonment. Discuss improvements made
since being incarcerated such as education and his philanthropic
work. Discuss Leonard's positive attitude and, despite his innocence,
the fact that he has openly expressed remorse and sadness over the
deaths that occurred on June 26, 1975.
Finish your support letter by telling the Parole Board how you
will support Leonard once he is granted parole. Your support might
be financial, such as a place to live, use of a vehicle, or help
finding job offers. Your support can also be emotional such as
providing advice and encouragement.
IMPORTANT NOTE TO ALL SUPPORTERS: When you write a letter in support
of Leonard's parole, mail the letter directly to the U.S. Parole
Commission, but also please send a copy of your correspondence to
the Peltier Legal Team, c/o LP-DOC, P.O. Box 7488, Fargo, ND 58106.
Time to set him free... Because it is the RIGHT thing to do.
Friends of Peltier
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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