Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search
35 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Leonard Peltier Is America's Longest-Serving Political Prisoner and Biden May Be His Last Hope (Original Post) Doc Sportello Nov 2021 OP
I've been signing petitions for his release for decades. I had really hoped Obama would consider hlthe2b Nov 2021 #1
+1 chowder66 Nov 2021 #2
Does make one wonder zipplewrath Nov 2021 #7
The Huffpost article refers to this catchnrelease Nov 2021 #12
I have too! burrowowl Nov 2021 #8
I too was disappointed in them. Doc Sportello Nov 2021 #20
Guilty of anything or not, it's past time to release him. marble falls Nov 2021 #3
Being in jail for the murder of 2 FBI agents hardly seems "political" EX500rider Nov 2021 #4
Most of us have learned that being convicted does not mean a person is guilty Doc Sportello Nov 2021 #13
Guilty or not does not make him a political prisoner EX500rider Nov 2021 #19
Being railroaded by the FBI as part of Nixon's fight against the left IS political Doc Sportello Nov 2021 #22
So the 2nd shootout with the State Troopers & the FBI gun with his fingerprints under his seat? EX500rider Nov 2021 #24
You don't get to ask questions Doc Sportello Nov 2021 #30
Got it you have no response to that. EX500rider Nov 2021 #32
you left out a shedload Celerity Nov 2021 #15
Thank you for the additional info n/t Doc Sportello Nov 2021 #18
Didn't they fake evidence? treestar Nov 2021 #23
Good read. DURHAM D Nov 2021 #5
For anyone interested watch Ghost of Tom Joad Nov 2021 #6
Bullshit. frogmarch Nov 2021 #9
If anyone thinks only Trumpsters make up conspiracy theory BS... Steven Maurer Nov 2021 #10
No it's not Doc Sportello Nov 2021 #16
You might have to back that claim up zipplewrath Nov 2021 #21
FALSE: the prosecutor appealed for clemency, not that he was innocent... Steven Maurer Nov 2021 #26
Yes! A Pardon is long overdue. ShazamIam Nov 2021 #11
"Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee"- Buffy Sainte-Marie spike jones Nov 2021 #14
I didn't think Jimmy Carter would pardon him, it was too soon after the incident. But I was sure... George II Nov 2021 #17
He'll never get out, every President IMO is too scared of the FBI to set him free. nt Raine Nov 2021 #25
More likely afraid of voter reaction. EX500rider Nov 2021 #29
Yup that too, none wants to take that risk. nt Raine Nov 2021 #31
After centuries of Oppression Dreampuff Nov 2021 #27
Kick denbot Nov 2021 #28
Leonard Peltier podcast andfuller Nov 2021 #33
welcome to DU gopiscrap Nov 2021 #34
Well, I've Followed RobinA Nov 2021 #35

hlthe2b

(102,138 posts)
1. I've been signing petitions for his release for decades. I had really hoped Obama would consider
Sun Nov 14, 2021, 02:18 PM
Nov 2021

commuting or pardoning him. I was very disappointed. An awful lot of former (and perhaps current) FBI agents want him to die in prison.

I, too have never been convinced of his guilt.

Hoping for compassion to win out this time around.

zipplewrath

(16,646 posts)
7. Does make one wonder
Sun Nov 14, 2021, 03:52 PM
Nov 2021

Both Clinton and Obama had a chance, even at the end of their terms, to address this and chose not to. Is there something they were told that we don't know?

catchnrelease

(1,944 posts)
12. The Huffpost article refers to this
Sun Nov 14, 2021, 04:28 PM
Nov 2021

Makes it sound like the FBI made subtle threats. Especially Clinton it appears was close to acting on the Peltier case but backed off at the last minute.

Doc Sportello

(7,488 posts)
20. I too was disappointed in them.
Sun Nov 14, 2021, 04:58 PM
Nov 2021

But Biden has shown he can make difficult decisions. The only thing difficult here is the blowback from LE, especially the FBI. They are more concerned with revenge and protecting their brand, even if that means keeping an innocent man in jail for the rest of his life.

EX500rider

(10,810 posts)
4. Being in jail for the murder of 2 FBI agents hardly seems "political"
Sun Nov 14, 2021, 03:00 PM
Nov 2021

And he was in a later shootout with Oregon State Police and had one of the dead FBI agents guns in the RV, hardly the actions of somebody who is innocent it seems to me.

The RV was stopped by an Oregon State Trooper, but the driver, later discovered to be Peltier, fled on foot following a small shootout.[26] Both Peltier's thumbprint and Agent Coler's handgun were discovered under the RV's front seat.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_Peltier

Doc Sportello

(7,488 posts)
13. Most of us have learned that being convicted does not mean a person is guilty
Sun Nov 14, 2021, 04:49 PM
Nov 2021

The numerous cases of verdicts being overturned in the last few years demonstrates that, and I would think someone on a Democratic site would know that. Perhaps you could read some of the literature or watch any of the documentaries showing evidence to the contrary, rather than post a wiki page and just your opinion.

EX500rider

(10,810 posts)
19. Guilty or not does not make him a political prisoner
Sun Nov 14, 2021, 04:54 PM
Nov 2021

Being wrongly convicted of murder is not political crimes

Doc Sportello

(7,488 posts)
22. Being railroaded by the FBI as part of Nixon's fight against the left IS political
Sun Nov 14, 2021, 05:03 PM
Nov 2021

Obviously. Maybe you weren't around then, is the only charitable thing I can say. I was, and through the FBI, he waged a war that anybody who knows anything knows was political. You have a lot to learn about that time or what being political means. I would recommend reading about the FBI's cointel program. False flag operations, long jail sentences for small or non-existent crimes, and agent provocateurs were just a part of it.

EX500rider

(10,810 posts)
24. So the 2nd shootout with the State Troopers & the FBI gun with his fingerprints under his seat?
Sun Nov 14, 2021, 05:32 PM
Nov 2021

Just a "Woops, how did that happen"?

Doc Sportello

(7,488 posts)
30. You don't get to ask questions
Sun Nov 14, 2021, 07:58 PM
Nov 2021

If you're not going to account for what you previously wrote and ignore all the facts of the case that support his innocence. Potshots aren't worthwhile.

Celerity

(43,124 posts)
15. you left out a shedload
Sun Nov 14, 2021, 04:51 PM
Nov 2021
Trial

On December 22, 1975, Peltier was named to the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. On February 6, 1976, Peltier was arrested after being found in a friend's cabin in Hinton, Alberta. In December 1976, he was extradited from Canada based on documents submitted by the FBI. Warren Allmand, Canada's Solicitor General at the time, later stated that these documents contained false information.

One of those documents was an affidavit signed by Myrtle Poor Bear, a Native American woman local to the area near Pine Ridge Reservation. While Poor Bear stated that she was Peltier's girlfriend during that time and watched the killings, Peltier and others at the scene said that Poor Bear did not know Peltier and was not present during the murders. Poor Bear later admitted to lying to the FBI, but said that the agents interviewing her had coerced her into making these claims above. When Poor Bear tried to testify against the FBI, the judge barred her testimony because of mental incompetence.

Peltier fought extradition to the United States. Robideau and Butler were acquitted on the grounds of self-defense by a federal jury in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Peltier returned too late to be tried with Robideau and Butler, and he was subsequently tried separately. Peltier's trial was held in Fargo, North Dakota, where a jury convicted Peltier of the murders of Coler and Williams. Unlike the testimony in the trial for Butler and Robideau, the jury was informed that the two FBI agents were killed by close-range shots to their heads, when they were already defenseless due to previous gunshot wounds. Consequently, Peltier could not submit a self-defense testimony that may have resulted in an acquittal. The jury was also shown autopsy and crime scene photographs of the two agents, which had not been shown to the jury at Cedar Rapids. In April 1977, Peltier was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences.

Inconsistencies in the prosecution's case

Numerous doubts have been raised over Peltier's guilt and the fairness of his trial, based on allegations and inconsistencies regarding the FBI and prosecution's handling of this case. Several key witnesses in the initial trial have recanted their statements and admitted they were made under duress at the hands of the FBI. At least one witness was given immunity from prosecution in exchange for testimony against Peltier.

Recanted witness statements

Peltier was convicted in 1977 largely on the evidence presented by three witness affidavits, all signed by Myrtle Poor Bear, that placed him at the scene of the shootout and contended that Peltier planned his crimes. Poor Bear claimed to be Peltier's girlfriend at the time, but later admitted that she never knew him personally. Moreover, Poor Bear was known to be mentally unstable. This was confirmed when the FBI deemed her unfit to testify at court. But her testimony, as put forth in her previous affidavits, remained a key part of the prosecution's case against Peltier. Two other witnesses whose testimony was used to place Peltier at the scene of the crime also later recanted. They alleged that the FBI had coerced and threatened them by tying them to chairs, denying them their right to talk to their attorney, and otherwise intimidated them.

Discrepancies in material evidence

FBI radio intercepts indicated that the two FBI agents Williams and Coler had entered the Pine Ridge Reservation in pursuit of a suspected thief in a red pickup truck. The FBI confirmed this claim the day after the shootout, but red pickup trucks near the reservation had been stopped for weeks, and Leonard Peltier did not drive a red pickup truck. Evidence was given that Peltier was driving a Chevrolet Suburban; a large station wagon-style sedan built on a pickup truck chassis, with an enclosed rear section. Peltier's vehicle was orange with a white roof—not a red, open-tray pickup truck with no white paint. At Peltier's trial, the FBI changed their previous statements that they had been in search of a red pickup truck and instead said that they were looking for an orange and white van, similar to the one Peltier drove. This contradictory statement by the FBI was a highly contentious matter of evidence in the trials.

Though the FBI's investigation indicated that an AR-15 was used to kill the agents, several different AR-15s were in the area at the time of the shootout. Also, no other cartridge cases or evidence about them were offered by the prosecutor's office, although other bullets were fired at the crime scene. During the trial, all the bullets and bullet fragments found at the scene were provided as evidence and detailed by Cortland Cunningham, FBI Firearms expert, in testimony (Ref US v. Leonard Peltier, Vol 9). Years later, a request under the Freedom of Information Act prompted another examination of the FBI ballistics report used to convict Peltier. An impartial expert evaluated the firing pin linked to the gun that shot Williams and Coler and concluded that the cartridge case from the scene of the crime did not come from the rifle tied to Peltier. This evidence negated a key facet of the prosecution's case against Peltier. The court did not allow the defense to present the Fargo jury with information about other cases in which the FBI had been rebuked for tampering with evidence and witnesses. In some similar prosecutions against AIM leaders at the time, defense attorneys did present such evidence to the juries.

treestar

(82,383 posts)
23. Didn't they fake evidence?
Sun Nov 14, 2021, 05:05 PM
Nov 2021

But that being said, somebody killed the FBI agents, and no one who knew anything would testify. So there's that. Somebody got away with it due to group solidarity against the FBI. The families of those agents will never get justice.

DURHAM D

(32,606 posts)
5. Good read.
Sun Nov 14, 2021, 03:04 PM
Nov 2021

The FBI vs. Bill Clinton part is really interesting. Makes one wonder if the more recent FBI activities against the other Clinton has a little Peltier connection. They probably thought if Hillary was elected she would finally expose the FBI corruption by giving Peltier a pardon.

Ghost of Tom Joad

(1,354 posts)
6. For anyone interested watch
Sun Nov 14, 2021, 03:46 PM
Nov 2021

Incident at Oglala, the Leonard Peltier Story. An innocent man wasting away in prison for a crime someone else committed.

frogmarch

(12,153 posts)
9. Bullshit.
Sun Nov 14, 2021, 03:56 PM
Nov 2021

He admitted taking part in the shootings that kiilled the FBI agents.

I knew him.

Leave him there.

Steven Maurer

(459 posts)
10. If anyone thinks only Trumpsters make up conspiracy theory BS...
Sun Nov 14, 2021, 04:10 PM
Nov 2021

This is a classic example where (some of) us liberals do the same thing.

You'd have a much better argument saying that Peltier's punishment was disproportionate (given the way Rittenhouse and other whites are handled with kid gloves), but that's not what's being argued here. The man is obviously guilty. All sorts of evidence proves it. It wasn't even close.

And no amount of rewriting the past will change that, no matter how much (like 1/6 goons) would like to.


Doc Sportello

(7,488 posts)
16. No it's not
Sun Nov 14, 2021, 04:53 PM
Nov 2021

And comparing posts or posters on here to RW goons is against the terms of service.

Also, if you're going to make blanket proof positive assertions, then have something to refute what numerous investigations have shown that he is definitely NOT "obviously guilty." You have provided nothing but bluster.

zipplewrath

(16,646 posts)
21. You might have to back that claim up
Sun Nov 14, 2021, 05:02 PM
Nov 2021

There are all sorts of people, including the prosecutor himself, that don't agree with such an assertion. He is assuredly guilty of something, but there seems to be precious "reliable" evidence of anything specific. Remember, two other suspects were acquitted of what they were charged.

Steven Maurer

(459 posts)
26. FALSE: the prosecutor appealed for clemency, not that he was innocent...
Sun Nov 14, 2021, 05:56 PM
Nov 2021

And this for very good reason:

1. Agents Williams and Coler were killed at close range by a .223 type bullet.

2. Based upon gunshot wound patterns to the hand, forensic evidence shows that Special Agent Ron Williams was wounded and pleading for his life (the bullet went through his open palm and into his head). So this wasn't some matter of "self-defense" against some out-of-control FBI agent.

3. There was literally one one .223 gun in the area. This was forensically identified as the murder weapon. The bullet matched it.

4. This gun was owned by Peltier.

5. Peltier's fingerprints were all over the gun, oriented in a way to show that he was holding it meant to be used to fire it.

6. No other fingerprints were found on the gun.

7. Fingerprints essentially always indicate the last person to handle something.

8. During an interview on the television show 60 Minutes that aired on September 22, 1991, Peltier admitted firing at Agents Williams and Coler.


Peltier's apologists like to talk to how they managed to pressure the other tribal witnesses to recant their testimony. But that doesn't mean that what they'd originally testified to was false. It merely that they have to live around there and don't want trouble.

More importantly, you can't talk around irrefutable forensic evidence and a freely made (decade later) confession.


I stand by my statement that this is a classic example of a political attempt to rewrite history, akin to any conspiracy theorizing that we see from the right wing these days.

It might be time to give Peltier clemency. But HE IS NOT A POLITICAL PRISONER.

George II

(67,782 posts)
17. I didn't think Jimmy Carter would pardon him, it was too soon after the incident. But I was sure...
Sun Nov 14, 2021, 04:53 PM
Nov 2021

...either Clinton or Obama would do so.

Let's hope Biden pardons him.

EX500rider

(10,810 posts)
29. More likely afraid of voter reaction.
Sun Nov 14, 2021, 07:42 PM
Nov 2021

Releasing someone convicted of killing 2 FBI agents not a good look to most voters .

Dreampuff

(778 posts)
27. After centuries of Oppression
Sun Nov 14, 2021, 06:34 PM
Nov 2021

That began after the European invasion, I'm surprised more people don't understand native American Rage. Even though I have never lived as a black person, I can understand the rage that many of them feel. It's called "empathy". Peltier, Banks, and Means were just too vocal and had to be made an example of so other natives would know their fate if they stepped out of line.

andfuller

(1 post)
33. Leonard Peltier podcast
Tue Nov 16, 2021, 04:26 PM
Nov 2021

For more information on the Leonard Peltier case, please check out the true crime podcast “LEONARD: Political Prisoner”:
https://leonard.buzzsprout.com/

Also, I don’t believe anyone has suggested Peter Matthiessen’s book “In the Spirit of Crazy Horse” which gives a clear account of the many falsehoods and political pretenses that were used against not only Peltier, but the entire Native American population since their colonization hundreds of years earlier, in order to keep the justice system working against them.

RobinA

(9,886 posts)
35. Well, I've Followed
Wed Nov 17, 2021, 01:27 PM
Nov 2021

the case on and off, and I know no such thing. I don't know if I could convict him if I were on a jury, but in my book he looks more guilty than not.

Latest Discussions»General Discussion»Leonard Peltier Is Americ...