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(en) US, Leonard Peltier's appeal denied

From Arthur J.Miller <bayou@blarg.net>
Date Wed, 5 Nov 2003 17:02:08 +0100 (CET)

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Once again the courts have closed the door to justice and the truth. The
U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, on Nov. 4, 2003, issued their ruling
denying Leonard Peltier’s appeal.
The conclusion of the ruling by the court states: “Much of the government’
s behavior at the Pine Ridge Reservation and in its prosecution of Mr.
Peltier is to be condemned. The government withheld evidence. It intimidated
witnesses. These facts are not disputed. Mr. Peltier asserts that “the
blatant government misconduct is a mitigating factor which should bear
strongly on whether (he) should be immediately considered for parole….”
He may be correct. But whether the Parole Commission gave proper weight to
this mitigating evidence is not a question we have authority to review. Our
only inquiry is whether the Commission was rational in concluding Mr.
Peltier participated in the execution of the two federal agents. On the
record before us, we cannot say this determination was arbitrary and
A very interesting statement. The Parole Commission based its decision
upon a trial where evidence that Leonard could have used to prove his
innocence was withheld and part of what was used to convict Leonard was
testimony by witnesses intimidated by the FBI and the court admits this as
fact. The court also in its ruling stated that “the Commission’s description
of the firefight as an “ambush” was imprecise: there is no indication any of
the participants were lying in wait for the agents.” And the court admits:
“In 1975, the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota was embroiled in
conflict between traditional elders, who south independence from Bureau of
Indian Affairs (BIA) managers, and Native Americans supportive of the BIA
power structure. The conflict became violent, and the traditional elders
sought protection from members of the American Indian Movement (AIM). Mr.
Peltier and other AIM activists arrived at Pine Ridge to defend reservation
So the court acknowledges the reason why Leonard was there, it
acknowledges that the government behavior at Pine Ridge, which was to side
against the traditionalist, is to be condemned. It acknowledges the
violence, over 60 traditionalists had been murdered many victims of drive by
shootings. The first two AIM members who went on trial were found not guilty
for reason of self-defense. But the court states that the Parole Commission’
s denial of parole for Leonard, which was based upon things that the court
states should be condemned, was not “arbitrary and capricious.” Again the
courts have shown, that in the case of Leonard Peltier, such things as
justice and common sense do not apply.
Like in the past when Leonard lost appeals, was not granted clemency and
not paroled, there are those that want to give up because Leonard will never
find justice in a system that only acts in its own interest even when its
actions stand against any sense of justice and even violates its own laws.
Though it is clear that the system will not grant justice to Leonard, but we
should not give up. For what will grant justice to Leonard is if enough
people demand it and how the government then decides to free Leonard is up
to it. Rather than give into the government and the system of injustice, we
should use each and every act by the government and its courts as further
example of the rightness of our cause and struggle even harder. I know that
it is hard to continue this struggle; I have been actively continuously
working for Leonard for 24 years. I have gone through all the appeals and
felt the great sorrow and frustration that each step has brought us. But we
cannot surrender in the face of such oppression, for the sake of Leonard we
cannot surrender and for the sake of all who resist this system that works
in the interest of a few at the expense of the many.
In the spirit of rage and commitment
Arthur J. Miller
Tacoma LPSG

Portland Ave. Park (on Portland Ave. between E. 24th and E. Fairbanks Ave.
Take Portland Ave. exit off I-5 and head east)
U.S. Federal Court House, 1717 Pacific Ave.

For those of you who only wish to just receive event up-dates from the
Tacoma LPSG please send a message to:
Tacoma-lpsg@ojibwe.us, and request to be place on the Tacoma LPSG up-date
Those who wish to sign up on the NWPeltierSupport list you can do so by
going to the following address on the internet:
Or send an e-mail to: nwpeltiersupport-subscribe@lists.riseup.net

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