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Tag: Leonard Peltier

Obama Denies Clemency for Native American Convicted of Killing 2 FBI Agents

Leonard Peltier/photo from his website

Leonard Peltier/photo from his website

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

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.

Native American Activist Convicted of Murdering 2 FBI Agents Is Celebrated with Statue

Leonard Peltier FBI wanted poster.

Leonard Peltier FBI wanted poster.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Native America activist Leonard Peltier was convicted of murdering two FBI agents in 1977.

But that hasn’t stopped a controversial statue of Peltier from being installed on the campus of American University, FOX5 reports.

Many Native American activists believe Peltier was wrongly convicted and sentenced to two life terms. The Leonard Peltier Statue Project is raising awareness about the case.

But FBI officials aren’t happy about propping up Peltier as if he were a hero.

“When I see this, I’m outraged because I know to the extent that anybody could possibly know that this man received a fair trial, is guilty in the crime he was charged with, and is serving a sentence that is proportionate to the crime he committed,” said Steve Pomerantz, former assistant director for the FBI. “He’s still alive. Those two agents are dead. He is a grandfather. They will never be grandfathers. He committed this crime and he killed those agents in cold blood.”

Judge Rejects Release of FBI Records in 1975 Slayings of Two Agents

 

Leonard Peltier/photo from his website

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal judge blocked a request for FBI records related to the slayings of two agents in South Dakota in 1975, Buffalo News reports.

Seeking the records is Leonard Peltier, who was arrested in connection with the killing of FBI agents Ronald Williams and Jack Coler.

Peltier wants to know why Frank DeLuca, the man he was with during the slayings, was never charged and remains free.

“We’re still going to press and push for the release of all documents related to the shadowy figure who used the name Frank Blackhorse,” Peltier’s attorney Michael Kuzma said this week, according to the Buffalo News.

Parole Denied for American Indian Activist Convicted in 1975 Killing of 2 FBI Agents

FBI Agent Ronald Williams

FBI Agent Ronald Williams

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It seemed like a no brainer for the U.S. Parole Commission.

American Indian activist Leonard Peltier was convicted in the 1975 fatal shootings of FBI agents Jack Coler and Ronald A. Williams on the Oglala Sioux Indian Reservation. The agents were serving arrests warrants for robbery and assault.

And after the shootings, while on the lam, Peltier shot at an Oregon Highway Patrol Officer, authorities say. In 1979, he escaped from prison and shot at a prison employee. In all, he had 12 prison infractions, four of which were drug related.

So considering all that,  this may not have come as any great shock:  After his July 28 parole hearing at his federal penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pa., the parole commission turned him down, according to an announcement Friday by U.S. Attorney Drew H. Wrigley of North Dakota, where Peltier was convicted in 1977.  The next parole hearing will be in July 2024 for the Peltier, who is 65.

On Friday, FBI Assistant Director Thomas J. Harrington issued a statement lauding the parole commission’s decision and added:
“His time served in jail for their 1975 murders has not diminished the brutality of his crimes or the pain and sorrow felt by the families of his victims or the FBI family.”

FBI Agent Jack Coler

FBI Agent Jack Coler

Peltier denied actually shooting the agents. He has conceded that he was present and shot in the area of the agents, authorities said. The parole board said the evidence was convincing that he was the actual killer.

U.S. Atty. Wrigley issued a statement saying: “Leonard Peltier’s guilt is certain and has been upheld time and time again by every appellate court. The evidence is overwhelming . And the loss suffered by the Coler and Williams families is equally overwhelming.”

After the shooting, authorities say Peltier was captured in Canada in February 1976 by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

“He was heavily armed when arrested…and said he would have blown the Mounties out of their shoes had he known they were coming to arrest him,” the U.S. Attorney’s press release said.

In 1979, he escaped. The FBI captured Peltier who possessed a semi-automatic rifle at the time, authorities said.

In other words, how hard of a decision was it to keep the guy behind bars?

Read 6-Page U.S. Attorney Press Release