The only evidence against Leonard Peltier was the fact that he was present at the Jumping Bull ranch during the fatal shoot-out. There were more than 30 other individuals there on the day of the shooting—members and nonmembers of the American Indian Movement (AIM)—but only AIM members were prosecuted. Leonard Peltier is the only person who was convicted, sentenced, and imprisoned. And, today, the U.S. Attorney admits that no one knows who fired the fatal shots.

Post-Trial Admissions At the Peltier trial, the prosecutor claimed in summation that “… we proved that he went down to the bodies and executed those two young men at point blank range…” At one appellate hearing, however, the government attorney conceded,

“We had a murder, we had numerous shooters, we do not know who specifically fired what killing shots… we do not know, quote-unquote, who shot the agents.”

At Peltier’s trial the prosecutor, referring to the weapon alleged to have been used in the killings of the agents, stated that, “There is only one AR-15 in the group. There is no testimony concerning any other AR-15 at Tent City or at the crime scene or anywhere else in the area…” Leonard Peltier’s lawyers later filed a Habeas Corpus petition claiming that the government had misled the jury by concealing evidence of the presence of other AR-15 rifles, and thus other potential weapons used in the killings of the agents, at the scene of the incident. The same prosecuting attorney, before the Eighth Circuit Court in 1992, claimed that “… I think it’s simply a misstatement of the trial that there was no evidence presented and it was suppressed as to other AR-15s at the scene…”

Prosecution’s Post-Trial Admissions (Click on image to enlarge.)