Tag: Clemency (page 1 of 5)

Celebs react to Obama denying clemency to Leonard Peltier

Leonard Peltier is a Native American activist and part of American Indian Movement. He was given two life sentences for the fatal shootings of two FBI agents at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975. He has spent 40 years in jail thus far and this denial is seen as a death sentence. He has maintained his innocence, and Amnesty International along with others have said he received an unfair trial.

Read more at ONTD: http://ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com/104764888.html#ixzz4WFf4uhks

Obama Administration Denies Clemency for Leonard Peltier

January 18, 2017, in a letter addressed to Leonard Peltier’s lawyer, the Obama administration formally denied the request to grant clemency to Peltier.

Leonard Peltier, a Native rights activist and member of the American Indian Movement, has been incarcerated since 1976 convicted of a crime he did not commit. Peltier’s struggle to gain freedom has crossed the globe and supporters include the likes of Mother Theresa and Desmond Tutu, whom have all called for his clemency.

Recently, the lead prosecutor in the Peltier case, former United States Attorney James H. Reynolds, called on Obama to grant Peltier clemency stating Peltier’s release would be, “in the best interest of justice in considering the totality of all matters involved.”

Read more:  https://lrinspire.com/2017/01/18/obama-administration-denies-clemency-for-leonard-peltier/

President Obama won’t commute Native American activist who killed FBI agents despite plea from Pope Francis

The pontiff sent the White House a last-minute missive Tuesday to plead for clemency in Peltier’s case, said his attorney Martin Garbus. But even that failed to move the needle in Peltier’s favor, despite his advanced age, failing health and 40 years behind bars.

Read more:  http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/obama-won-commute-native-american-activist-leonard-peltier-article-1.2949762

Native American Activist Leonard Peltier Denied Clemency

From Amnesty International – USA

Native American activist Leonard Peltier was denied clemency by President Obama today after more than four decades in prison.

“We are deeply saddened by the news that President Obama will not let Leonard go home,” said Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA. “Despite serious concerns about the fairness of legal proceedings that led to his trial and conviction, Peltier was imprisoned for more than 40 years. He has always maintained his innocence. The families of the FBI agents who were killed during the 1975 confrontation between the FBI and American Indian Movement (AIM) members have a right to justice, but justice will not be served by Peltier’s continued imprisonment.”

“Leonard Peltier is 72 years old and in failing health. The failure to act may have condemned him to die in prison.”

Source: http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/press-releases/native-american-activist-leonard-peltier-denied-clemency

Leonard Peltier Denied Clemency by Obama

The Office of the Pardon Attorney has announced President Obama has denied clemency to imprisoned Native American activist Leonard Peltier. Peltier is a former member of the American Indian Movement who was convicted of killing two FBI agents during a shootout on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975. He has long maintained his innocence.

Amnesty International condemned the decision.

“We are deeply saddened by the news that President Obama will not let Leonard go home,” said Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA. “Despite serious concerns about the fairness of legal proceedings that led to his trial and conviction, Peltier was imprisoned for more than 40 years. He has always maintained his innocence. The families of the FBI agents who were killed during the 1975 confrontation between the FBI and American Indian Movement (AIM) members have a right to justice, but justice will not be served by Peltier’s continued imprisonment.”

Peltier’s attorney Martin Garbus appeared on Democracy Now! today.

“I think it’s fair to say that if he doesn’t get commuted by President Obama, he’ll die in jail He’s a very sick man,” Garbus said. “So, Obama’s not granting him clemency is like a sentence of death. Trump ain’t going to do it. And he’s very sick, and he’s not going to live past that time. I don’t want to be negative, but that’s the reality. He’s very sick, and he’s been in prison over 40 years, hard years, six years of solitary.”

Garbus was notified of Obama’s decision earlier today. In an email, the Office of the Pardon Attorney wrote: “The application for commutation of sentence of your client, Mr. Leonard Peltier, was carefully considered in this Department and the White House, and the decision was reached that favorable action is not warranted. Your client’s application was therefore denied by the President on January 18, 2017… Under the Constitution, there is no appeal from this decision.”

Source:  https://www.democracynow.org/2017/1/18/breaking_leonard_peltier_denied_clemency_by

Clemency denied!

U.S. Department of Justice
Office of the Pardon Attorney
Washington, D.C. 20530

 

January 18, 2017

 

 

Mr. Martin Garbus
Attorney
3 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10016-5902

 

Re: Mr. Leonard Peltier

Case No. C179410

 

Dear Mr. Martin Garbus:

 

The application for commutation of sentence of your client, Mr. Leonard Peltier, was carefully considered in this Department and the White House, and the decision was reached that favorable action is not warranted. Your client’s application was therefore denied by the President on January 18, 2017.  Please advise your client accordingly.

Under the Constitution, there is no appeal from this decision.  As a matter of well-established policy, we do not disclose the reasons for the decision in a clemency matter.  In addition, deliberative communications pertaining to agency and presidential decision-making are confidential and not available under existing case law interpreting the Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act.  Your client will become eligible to reapply for commutation one year from the date on which the President denied the current application.

Sincerely,

 

Office of the Pardon Attorney

Obama has 2 days to free Native American activist Leonard Peltier. Here’s why his case matters

President Barack Obama commuted the prison sentences of 209 federal inmates on Tuesday, including that of Chelsea Manning, the United States Army analyst who leaked documents in 2010 exposing American military and diplomatic activities around the world.

Now, with two days left in his presidency, Obama has the chance to close one of the more troubling chapters in the history of U.S. government-Native American relations: the saga of Leonard Peltier. By commuting Peltier’s two consecutive life sentences, the president will have the final word on a case that’s stained federal law enforcement for decades.

More:  https://mic.com/articles/165819/obama-has-3-days-to-free-native-american-activist-leonard-peltier-heres-why-his-case-matters#.pgXMEH49K

Indian activist Peltier’s supporters hope for clemency

From the Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Supporters of American Indian activist Leonard Peltier, who has spent most of his life in prison in the killing of two FBI agents in South Dakota in 1975, hope President Barack Obama will grant him clemency and shorten his sentence to the four decades he has already served before Obama leaves office Friday.

Among those supporting Peltier’s last-ditch bid for freedom is Pope Francis, who wrote to the White House on Tuesday, Peltier’s attorney, Martin Garbus, said Wednesday.

More:  http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CLEMENCY_PELTIER?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

Activists Call on Obama to Pardon Leonard Peltier, Warning He’ll Die in Prison Otherwise

While President Obama shortened the sentences of Oscar López Rivera and Chelsea Manning and 207 other prisoners, Obama took no action on 71-year-old imprisoned Native American activist Leonard Peltier. Peltier is a former member of the American Indian Movement who was convicted of killing two FBI agents during a shootout on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975. He has long maintained his innocence. Peltier’s attorney Martin Garbus joins us in New York.

Ex-FBI Agent Pleads for the Release of Leonard Peltier for Humanitarian Reasons

By John C. “Jack Ryan” was an FBI special agent from 1966 through 1987

I was an agent with the FBI when two of my fellow agents were murdered at the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1975; today I’m calling on President Obama to free the man convicted of killing them.

I didn’t know Special Agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams personally, but I felt the same shock and horror that everyone in the FBI felt at their deaths. Like former United States Attorney James Reynolds, who handled the prosecution in the critical post-trial period, I believe that clemency for Mr. Peltier “is in the best interest of justice.” I further believe that keeping him incarcerated any longer perverts the system of Justice for which the two agents died, and which the agency is sworn to uphold.

I do not make this call lightly, and it should not be seen as a criticism of the actions of the well-meaning, patriotic agents of the Bureau, nor as a referendum on the Bureau itself. A benefit of hindsight is that sometimes it provides an opportunity to address an injustice like this.

According to the Eighth Circuit, witnesses were coerced and ballistics evidence was withheld from Mr. Peltier’s attorneys at trial. U.S. Attorney Reynolds has re-emphasized in recent interviews that the Government had no proof to support its trial theory that Mr. Peltier was the person who shot the two FBI agents, and he remains in jail today on a thin “accomplice” theory.

Despite the disturbing number of red flags, judicial criticism of government conduct, and his accomplice status, Mr. Peltier has been held in prison for more than four decades, four times longer than former FBI Special Agent Mark Putnam, who had an affair with an informant, deliberately murdered her when he learned she was pregnant, and then obstructed the investigation into her disappearance. Over the course of those four decades, Mr. Peltier has spent no less than six years in solitary confinement; conditions that the world is coming to understand are cruel and inhuman by definition. Is this Justice or Vengeance?

I am not alone in urging clemency. My opinion is shared by the former U.S. Attorney Reynolds who prosecuted the case; Eighth Circuit Judge Gerald Heaney who sat on two of Mr. Peltier’s appeals; leading luminaries of the human rights community, such as Bishop Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, the late Coretta Scott King and the late Nelson Mandela; Tribal Nations from across the country; and more than 112,000 Americans who signed petitions urging the government not to re-litigate the case—but, to allow closure.

Mr. Peltier is 72 years old and reportedly has diabetes, a heart condition, has suffered a stroke, and recently was diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm—a life-threatening condition which requires diligent medical attention which cannot be provided by the penitentiary where he is housed.

In granting Clemency, for all intents and purposes, President Obama will lift a death sentence for Mr. Peltier, who is next eligible for parole in 2024.

And finally, although Peltier has consistently maintained his innocence in the killings of Agents Coler and Williams, he has also expressed his sorrow and remorse over the events that led to their deaths, as well as his concern for their families. Whatever one may think of the violence at the Pine Ridge Reservation, or of the circumstances of Peltier’s conviction, he is very clearly not a threat to anything or anyone. He simply wants to go home, before it’s too late.

Like the vast majority of FBI agents, I joined the agency out of a desire to make the world a better place. I believed then as I believe now in the American values of justice and fairness—but as I look back over the past 41 years, I see neither in the Peltier case.

For all these reasons and more, I respectively urge President Obama to grant the Clemency Petition of Leonard Peltier, in the name of reconciliation and compassion, and in the interest of the American system of justice for which my two fellow agents died.

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