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Leonard Peltier Parole Hearing July 28, Letters needed by July 1

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NightWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 08:51 PM
Original message
Leonard Peltier Parole Hearing July 28, Letters needed by July 1
Leonard Peltier's first full parole hearing was held in 1993, at which time his case was continued for a 15-year reconsideration. Mr. Peltier has recently applied for a parole hearing; that hearing is tentatively scheduled for July 28, 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. . 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).

IMPORTANT: To be considered, all letters must arrive at the U.S. Parole Commission no later than July 1.

Guidelines for General Supporters

First, we ask that you sign the online parole petition. /

Next, draft correspondence to the U.S. Parole Commission. A sample letter follows.

Sample Letter

United States Parole Commission
5550 Friendship Boulevard

Suite 420
Chevy Chase, MD 20815-7286

(Insert Date)

Re: LEONARD PELTIER #89637-132

Dear Commissioners,

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. Peltiers sentences "were imposed in violation of 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 governments 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 disputed."

Despite these admissions, Leonard Peltier has served over 33 years in prison.

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 their deaths.

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 Indian Reservation.

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 agea great-grandfatherand 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. Peltiers release would help to heal a wound that has long impeded better relations between the federal government and American Indians.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely yours,


(Your Name)

(Your Street Address)

(Your City, State, and Zip Code)

Please also send a similar letter to your representative and senators for your state to ask that they officially support an award of parole to Leonard Peltier. Please consult our Congressional Directory for contact information.

Communicating with your members of Congress is one of the most important ways you can participate in the legislative process, and one highly effective way that you can expand your lobbying efforts is by writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Letters-to-the-editor take no more time to write than e-mails to Congress, and by writing for a public forum, you can potentially influence both your legislators and many of the voters who elect them. Click here for newspapers in your state. Also read these tips.

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.

For the Sake of Justice, No Amount is Too Small

Your donation will help pay the significant legal expenses associated with Mr. Peltier's parole hearing. Send a check or money order made payable to "LP-DOC" to the below address.


PO Box 7488

Fargo, ND 58106
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yellerpup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-25-09 04:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thanks, I've signed the ipetition
and forwarded to friends. I'll write the letter tomorrow. Thanks for the template. That helps a great deal! Wado!
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nofurylike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-21-09 03:09 AM
Response to Original message
2. signed petition, but i'm sorry i'm too late on the letter. thank you
for posting this.

peace and solidarity
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