[Pnews] Former FBI agent asks Obama to free Native American activist Leonard Peltier

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Jan 9 17:29:40 EST 2017


January 09, 2017
Contact: Peter Clark, Co-Director, International Leonard Peltier Defense 
Committee, contact at whoisleonardpeltier.info

*Former FBI agent asks Obama to free Native American activist Leonard 
Peltier*

In a letter dated January 3, former agent and charter member of the 
Federal Bureau of Investigation Agents Association (FBIAA) John C. 
“Jack” Ryan wrote to President Obama to request a grant of clemency to 
Native American activist Leonard Peltier. Leonard Peltier should receive 
clemency, Ryan said, “…in the interest of the system of justice for 
which my two fellow agents died, and in the interest of reconciliation 
and compassion.”

In 1977, Peltier was sentenced to two consecutive life terms for the 
shooting deaths of FBI agents Jack Coler and Ron Williams on the Pine 
Ridge Reservation, South Dakota.

“… the circumstances surrounding the case in combination with the 
passage of 4 decades of time served support [Peltier’s] request to live 
his final years at home… When Agents Coler and Williams lost their lives 
it was a devastating loss to us agents. Emotion ruled the 
decision-making process and likely clouded the judgment of the massive 
team of whom were driven to hold someone responsible for our loss,” Ryan 
wrote. “If the government could do it all over again, it would respond 
differently. Through today’s lens, Leonard Peltier was not treated 
fairly and did not get a fair trial.”

In 2000, Congressman Don Edwards (also a former agent) stated: “The FBI 
continues to deny its improper conduct on Pine Ridge during the 1970s 
and in the trial of Leonard Peltier. The FBI used Mr. Peltier as a 
scapegoat and they continue to do so today. At every step of the way, 
FBI agents and leadership have opposed any admission of wrongdoing by 
the government, and they have sought to misrepresent and politicize the 
meaning of clemency for Leonard Peltier. The killing of FBI agents at 
Pine Ridge was reprehensible, but the government now admits that it 
cannot prove that Mr. Peltier killed the agents.”

Edwards’ words ring true today. Last week, the FBIAA succeeded in 
pressuring American University to remove a statue of Peltier that was 
exhibited there, and when former U.S. Attorney James Reynolds’ letter to 
the President to request that he grant clemency to Peltier was 
publicized, some sought to discredit Reynolds stating that he falsely 
claimed involvement with the Peltier case.

“The FBI's perpetual demonization of Leonard Peltier is an effort to 
poison public opinion and avoid self-reflection. Mr. Peltier's clemency 
petition is not a referendum on federal law enforcement; it presents a 
moral imperative which President Obama can address,” said Peltier 
attorney Cynthia Dunne, herself a former federal prosecutor. “By 
reckoning with the past and moving forward in the best interests of 
justice, reconciliation and compassion, we can become a stronger nation. 
It is time to free Leonard Peltier.”

Currently imprisoned in a maximum-security facility in Coleman, Florida, 
Peltier is far away from his reservation in North Dakota. Maintaining 
strong family ties has been difficult. He has never even met some of his 
grandchildren or great-grandchildren. In December, Peltier’s younger son 
passed away while in Washington, DC, advocating for his father’s 
release. Prison authorities refused to allow Peltier to attend his son’s 
funeral.

At 72 years, Peltier suffers from serious medical problems that impair 
his ability to walk, see, and conduct normal life activities. He suffers 
from severe diabetes, hypertension and a heart condition, and has been 
diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Recently, he was told he 
needs prostate surgery.

Imprisoned for 41 years, Peltier has long been eligible for release, but 
federal authorities have yielded to the objections of the FBI in denying 
Peltier’s applications for parole—most recently in 2009 when he was told 
he will not receive another full parole hearing until 2024 when, if he 
survives, he will have reached nearly the age of 80 years. Peltier says 
he’s eligible for mandatory release, but the government has failed to 
apply its 30 -year rule (after 30 years served, all sentences are to be 
aggregated and the prisoner released) or consider the good-time credit 
he has earned (20 years, to date).

Peltier's release from prison now depends on a grant of clemency by 
President Obama who leaves office on January 20.


    The White House Comment Line has been closed. You can still advocate
    for Leonard Peltier. Email President Obama:
    https:/www.whitehouse.gov/contact
    <https://sable.godaddy.com/c/25590?id=376493.1133.1.d43b116fdf8979668a2565d09487bdc3>;
    post a comment on Obama's Facebook page:
    https://www.facebook.com/potus/
    <https://sable.godaddy.com/c/25590?id=376493.1134.1.e0b500c73521635696700e4e64dd5b47>
    or message him at https://www.facebook.com/whitehouse
    <https://sable.godaddy.com/c/25590?id=376493.1135.1.aa5f381bfa74e35e16fada9bad6aadf7>(or
    https://m.me/whitehouse
    <https://sable.godaddy.com/c/25590?id=376493.1136.1.afa063226c6f130a30dec0a6d23d1898>);
    and send a tweet to President Obama: @POTUS, @WhiteHouse and
    @BarackObama.

___________________________________________
http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/press-releases/former-fbi-agent-calls-for-clemency-for-leonard-peltier 



  Former FBI Agent Calls for Clemency for Leonard Peltier

January 9, 2017

In a letter sent to President Obama 
<http://www.amnestyusa.org/pdfs/RyanSignedLighterVersion.pdf>, a former 
FBI Special Agent called for the president to grant clemency to Native 
American activist and federal prisoner Leonard Peltier, who has served 
over 40 years in prison after being convicted in a flawed trial for the 
deaths of two FBI agents.

Former Agent John C. “Jack” Ryan wrote in the letter “In my opinion…the 
circumstances surrounding the case in combination with the passage of 4 
decades of time served support his request to live his final years at home.”

Peltier was convicted in 1975, and has remained behind bars despite 
concerns about political bias and injustice that have clouded his case. 
Now the 72 year-old’s health is failing, he has exhausted all appeals, 
and he is not up for parole until 2024. More than 100,000 people have 
signed an Amnesty International petition 
<http://act.amnestyusa.org/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1839&ea.campaign.id=27118>calling 
for him to freed.

Ryan was a charter member of the FBI Agents Association and was with the 
Bureau from 1966 to his removal in 1987, when he refused to investigate 
activists protesting U.S. involvement in Nicaragua because he believed 
that they had done nothing wrong. As an agent, he wrote in his letter, 
“we were taught to follow orders and we acted on good faith on the 
directions given, believing we were doing the right thing.” Of the 
events that led to the end of his FBI career, he said “I was faced with 
a moral dilemma and did what I thought was right.”

“The FBI's perpetual demonization of Leonard Peltier is an effort to 
poison public opinion and avoid self-reflection,” said Cynthia K. Dunne, 
a former federal prosecutor and co-counsel for Peltier. “Mr. Peltier's 
clemency petition is not a referendum on federal law enforcement. It 
presents a moral imperative which President Obama has the opportunity to 
address. By reckoning with the past and moving forward in the best 
interests of justice, reconciliation and compassion, we can become a 
stronger nation. It is time to free Leonard Peltier.”

“Leonard Peltier may die in prison unless the president acts before his 
term is up,” said Zeke Johnson of Amnesty International USA. “President 
Obama should seize the opportunity to grant clemency to Leonard Peltier 
as a humanitarian gesture that President-elect Trump cannot reverse.”

Last week, the former head of the prosecution team that convicted 
Peltier also wrote to President Obama calling for clemency 
<http://www.amnestyusa.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/LetterProsecutor.pdf>. 
Former U.S. Attorney James H. Reynolds wrote that clemency for Peltier 
would be “in the best interest of Justice.”

Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, Dave Archambault II also sent 
a letter to President Obama about the case. Over 50 Members of Congress 
and others—including federal appellate Judge Gerald Heaney, who sat as a 
member of the court in two of Peltier’s appeals—have all called for his 
immediate release.

-- 
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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