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News ::
Open Letter from Leonard Peltier (english)
07 Oct 2003
American Indian activist Leonard Peltier was framed by the FBI and unjustly imprisoned. He could be paroled, but not without your help. See support info at bottom of page.


Leonard Peltier #89637-132
USP-Leavenworth
PO Box 1000
Leavenworth, KS 66048-1000
September 19, 2003

Greetings Sisters, Brothers, Friends and
Supporters,

Well, we have just completed another round in
the courts. I
understand oral arguments went very well in
Denver today. Barry, one
of my attorneys, was able to brief me on the
legal issues that were
argued before the court.

The one legal issue that I was most concerned
about was the secret
parole hearing that was held without my or my
attorneys' knowledge.
Let me explain.

In 1995, I went before the Parole Commission
for my 2-year interim
hearing. Before this hearing I obtained a copy of
the U.S.
Attorney's memorandum opposing my release
on parole. U.S. attorney
Lynn Crooks continued to take the position that I
executed the agents.
At that time, a prisoner was allowed to confront
the evidence being
used against him to block parole, so my lawyers
immediately presented
trial records where Crooks had stated (before
the 8th Circuit Court of
Appeals in 1986), that the government did not
know who killed the
agents or what participation I "may have had in
it". Under
questioning by the parole examiner, Crooks
again admitted the
government had no proof that I killed anyone.
The examiner was
shocked and ruled that there was insufficient
evidence to support the
Commission's sole finding that I shot the
agents. I was told the
examiner stated he was going to recommend
parole.

Not satisfied with the examiner's decision, the
Commission referred
the matter to legal staff. The legal staff said the
examiner had
exceeded his authority and provided several
options, one of which was
to require a rehearing. Without a hearing,
however, the Commission
affirmed its prior decision that I shot the agents
and consequently
would not be considered for parole until 2008.
Of course, they wrote
the denial of parole using the false information
they continue to use
today. To make matters worse, the Commission
added a reference that I
would be held in prison for the same time solely
as an aider and
abetter. This was all done secretly and without
my right to notice
and to be heard.

Under the laws written by Congress, this action
was illegal. Under
the law, I am entitled to legal representation and
to be present to
defend myself against their accusations.
Because of the U.S. Parole
Commission's clear and deliberate violation of
the law, in the real
world, this appeal should be an open and shut
case and I should be
released immediately on parole. But this is not
the real world, it is
my world. Remember? The U.S. Parole
Commission was dissolved in
1987 and ordered by Congress to give all
prisoners sentenced under the
old laws their parole dates. It's 2003. The
Commission still has not
done this. The Commission remains in power
and is being allowed to
violate the law of the land.

Now, we wait once again to see what the 10th
Circuit Court of Appeals
will do. Will they follow the laws they are sworn
to protect or will
they instead continue to protect those who are
clearly in violation of
your Constitution?

We now hear Norman Zigrossi who was
involved back in the 1970s state
publicly that my case was a complicated one,
that they presented the
evidence as they knew it. And because it was
not an easy case, if
anything was withheld, it was done
inadvertently. Inadvertently? You
are now expected to believe that the wrong
doing in my prosecution --
the manufacturing of witness Myrtle Poor Bear;
the fabrication of
ballistics evidence; the outright fraud committed
by U.S. Special
Prosecutor Evan Hultman (who we now have
proof lied to the 8th Circuit
Court of Appeals) and much , much more -- is
okay, because it was all
done by accident. Inadvertently. How insulting is
that, may I ask?

I wish I could predict a favorable outcome to this
hearing, but I am
afraid even with it going so well, that the Justice
Department and the
FBI will pressure the court and the judges will
rule against me. I
pray to Wakan Tanka that I'm proven wrong.

All of you, from all over the world, can ensure
that the judges follow
the law. Demand justice. Flood the 10th Circuit
Court of Appeals
with letters. But quote the facts. Pleas for
humanity do not work in
the halls of justice.

Reading this letter you might think I'm being
negative. That's not at
all true. I have not and will not give up. Support
for my cause
continues to grow. I receive more and more
letters from people who
have just learned of this outrageously wrong
conviction. I continue
to receive letters from people who have always
been there for me. The
miraculous thing is that I'm now receiving
letters from conservatives
who never thought they could be convinced that
their government would
behave as they have towards me. I, of course,
know this is the result
of your efforts -- you who have supported me,
proclaimed my innocence,
and advocated for my release for 27+ years. I
thank you from the
bottom of my heart.

We have a strong, positive momentum going
right now and it is
building. We're moving forward. This forward
momentum is not moving
without our normal problems, I have to tell you.
Funding is always
needed and we're still short handed. We have 2
full time staffers and
a couple of interns, but there's so much work to
be done. We need
funds and the assistance of our volunteer
support network more than
ever.

Our voting initiative is taking off and building
rapidly. More and
more people are supporting and helping us to
build voting blocks.
Just in the last couple of weeks, presidential
candidate Carol Moseley
Braun stated that she supports clemency and
would approve my petition.
She is only one of the presidential candidates.
Most people feel
she's unlikely to receive her party's nomination,
but the fact is that
she can and will gather a significant number of
voters. The last
presidential election proved that the politicians
can't take votes for
granted. The frontrunners will be jockeying for
support. If we can
get hundreds of thousand of voters to make my
continuing imprisonment
a campaign issue, other politicians also will
support my release.

With your continued support and efforts, I could
very well walk out of
this prison. I know you may never be able to pull
off the campaign
that Nelson Mandella's supporters did, but I
have confidence that you
-- the People -- can and will launch a freedom
campaign that will be
heard all around the world.

Thank you for everything, my friends.

Mitakuye Oyasin.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,


Leonard Peltier
**************************
Support info here:
LPDC
International Headquarters
PO Box 583
Lawrence, KS 66044-0583 USA
785-842-5774; 785-842-5796 (Fax)
E-mail: info (at) leonardpeltier.org
Web: www.leonardpeltier.org

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