Leonard Peltier/photo from his website
By Steve Neavling
President Obama will not grant clemency to Native American activist Leonard Peltier, who was found guilty of killing two FBI agents during a shootout at a South Dakota reservation in 1975.
The president denied Peltier’s application for clemency, the Washington Times reports.
The clemency was “not warranted,” the administration’s Office of the Pardon Attorney told Peltier’s attorney.
“Your client’s application was therefore denied by the president on January 18, 2017… Under the Constitution, there is no appeal from this decision,” the notice stated.
Peltier is 72 and seriously ill.
“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.”
The FBI Agents Association President Thomas O’Connor issued a statement:
The FBI Agents Association agrees with the decision of the Obama Administration to deny Leonard Peltier’s petition for executive clemency. In well over a dozen appeals, twice reaching the U.S. Supreme Court, every aspect of Mr. Peltier’s trial has been reviewed in detail. Mr. Peltier has never taken responsibility for his crimes while imprisoned.
Our thoughts today are with the families of FBI Special Agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams, who were killed by Mr. Peltier in 1975. The FBI Agents Association will continue to counter efforts by Mr. Peltier’s legal and public relations team to portray him as anything other than who Leonard Peltier really is: an unremorseful, cold-blooded killer. Mr. Peltier should remain in prison and not be shown a mercy he refused to offer to Agents Coler and Williams in 1975, and has denied to their families and friends over the past four decades.
I would like to thank FBIAA members, the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI and former FBI Supervisory Agent Ed Woods for their advocacy efforts against executive clemency for Mr. Peltier.