International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee

07 October 2015
Contact: Peter Clark, Co-Director, International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, (505) 217-3612 or

NLG Urges Pres. Obama to Free Leonard Peltier

Today, the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) in coordination with the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee (ILPDC) sent a letter urging President Obama to grant Executive Clemency to 71-year-old political prisoner and Native American activist, Leonard Peltier.

“Despite overwhelming evidence of FBI misconduct—including the coercion and intimidation of witnesses, the utilization of false testimonies, and the concealment of a ballistics test reflecting his innocence—Mr. Peltier has been denied a new trial and is long overdue for parole,” the letter states.

An innocent man, Native American activist Leonard Peltier was wrongfully convicted in connection with the shooting deaths of two agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1977. Imprisoned for nearly 40 years—currently at the federal prison in Coleman, Florida—Peltier has been designated a political prisoner by Amnesty International. Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, 55 Members of Congress and others—including a judge who sat as a member of the court in two of Peltier’s appeals—have all called for his immediate release. Widely recognized for his humanitarian works and a six-time Nobel Prize nominee, Peltier also is an accomplished author and painter.

The NLG also advocated for Peltier’s release during the Clinton Administration.

“It’s long past time for the healing to begin between Indigenous Nations and the U.S. government—with regard to the Peltier case, as well as other tragic incidents of the past” said Peter Clark, Co-Director, ILPDC.

The Peltier case has been examined by renowned author Peter Matthiessen (“In the Spirit of Crazy Horse”) and by a documentary film produced and narrated by Robert Redford (“Incident at Oglala”).  Although the courts have acknowledged evidence of government misconduct—including the coercion of witnesses, the intentional use of false testimonies, and the concealment of ballistics evidence reflecting his innocence—Peltier remains in a maximum security prison.

The power to commute Peltier’s sentence of two life terms rests with President Obama.

“Mr. Peltier is 71 years old and in poor health.  This is the very time for renewed commitment and unity.  We’re very pleased that the National Lawyers Guild have taken this action on Mr. Peltier’s behalf and are actively involved in securing his freedom,” the ILPDC spokesperson said.


NLG Letter to President Obama:


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