RE: Civil Rights Complaint (2002-2004)
civil complaint was filed in April 2002 pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal
Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388, 91 S. Ct. 1999, 29 L. Ed.2d 619
(1971), to redress the deprivation by defendants of rights applicable to
Leonard Peltier under the U.S. Constitution. Named agents of
the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), both in their
individual capacity as employees, either currently or formerly, of the
FBI the complaint claimed, have engaged in a systematic and
officially sanctioned campaign of misinformation and disinformation
designed to prevent Peltier from receiving a fair hearing on
his claims for both clemency before the President of the United States
and parole before the U.S. Parole Commission. Furthermore,
certain named defendants failed to adequately supervise and control
the conduct of employees and/or agents of the FBI in direct contravention of statutory and regulatory
requirements designed to preserve the impartiality of the FBI and to preserve the
due process rights of Leonard Peltier. These actions
denied Peltier his rights under
Article II of the Constitution, and the First, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth
Amendments thereto. The FBI knowingly engaged in politically motivated conduct
in direct violation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Manual of
Administrative Policy, and Manual of Investigative Policy.
In May 2004, the DC District Court ruled that the actions
of the former and active agents were protected by the First Amendment,
and also stated that the court lacked jurisdiction over the active
agents named in the suit (even though FBI headquarters is located in
Washington, DC). The court dismissed the complaint.
RE: Defamation (2003-2004)
On May 1, 2003, Peltier filed a
civil complaint against
Paul DeMain, editor of News From Indian Country. Statements were authored by DeMain that
were false, defamatory, and malicious. They were then circulated by DeMain's
newspaper with reckless disregard and with the knowledge that they were
false. DeMain stated, as a matter of fact, that Leonard Peltier was
guilty of shooting the two FBI agents when the government itself has
repeatedly admitted that it did not and cannot prove that Leonard Peltier shot
the agents. DeMain also implied Peltier's involvement in the Pine
Ridge murder of fellow AIM member Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash in 1976 (PDF
DeMain had avoided giving a deposition for several months. Just before a deposition was finally to take place, on or about April 9,
2004, the two parties began settlement negotiations. With nothing
further to negotiate, an agreement was reached on April 16th. However, DeMain failed to honor the agreement. Therefore,
on May 24, 2004, a
Motion to Enforce Settlement Agreement was filed with the Eighth
U.S. District Court of Claims in Minneapolis, Minnesota (PDF Format). See
Affidavit and Exhibits (PDF Format).
On May 26, 2004, DeMain complied with the agreement
and signed a
statement in which he retracted his published claims.
However, on May 28, 2004, DeMain issued a press release in breach of the
On June 3, 2004, after further negotiations, a satisfied Leonard Peltier
dismissed with prejudice his complaint against DeMain. (Note: "With
prejudice" refers to Peltier's dismissal of the complaint for purely
personal reasons. He did not relinquish his claim, that is to say,
and this outcome in no way diminishes the merits of the original
complaint. Leonard Peltier's dismissal of the complaint also does
not preclude him from bringing suit against DeMain at a later time.
Peltier merely can't bring a new case on the same basis as the
RE: Congressional Investigation (2004-Present)
In spring 2004, the Judiciary Committee (U.S. House of
Representatives) announced plans to investigate misconduct on the part of the FBI. In response, the Peltier attorneys submitted a formal
request to Congress for this investigation to include a full
examination of the misconduct exhibited on the Pine Ridge Indian
Reservation during the 1970s, and in the case against Leonard
RE: Sentence Computation, Mandatory Release (2007)
Peltier v. United States Bureau of Prisons et al.
|March 5, 2007
|Honorable Edwin M. Kosik
|Magistrate Judge Thomas M.
|Nature of Suit:
|Civil Rights - Other Civil
|28:1331 Federal Question:
Other Civil Rights
|U.S. Government Defendant
Jury Demanded By:
The government's Motion to Dismiss
was GRANTED on November 20, 2007. See the
Memorandum and Order.
RE: Sentencing Reform Act (2004-2009)
On September 2, 2004,
in a major lawsuit
filed in Washington, DC, the Peltier attorneys claimed that United States
Department of Justice officials have knowingly violated the Sentencing
Reform Act of 1984 (and its amendments) and illegally extended Peltier's prison term by 12 years or more.
named in the lawsuit include the U.S. Parole Commission and individuals
who have served on the Commission during the past two decades;
Attorney General John Ashcroft and former Attorneys General Edwin Meese,
Richard Thornburgh, William Barr, and Janet Reno; and the Director of the
Bureau of Prisons, Harley Lappin, as well as former directors J.
Michael Quinlan and Kathleen Hawk Sawyer.
The Sentencing Reform
Act (SRA) was passed to address what Congress thought were
inconsistent sentences imposed by different judges on different
individuals convicted of the same crimes, as well as arbitrary parole
decisions. A new system —one of determinate sentences—was born
and the Parole
Commission was abolished.
At the heart of
the suit is the refusal of the government to enforce Title II, Chapter
II, Section 235(b)(3) of the Sentencing Reform Act. Effective on
October 12, 1984, this part of the law ordered that parole dates
"consistent with the applicable parole guideline" be issued to all
"old system" prisoners within the following five-year period, at the
end of which time (on October 11, 1989) the Commission would cease to
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