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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/30/09

Peltier Lawyer Asks You to Write to Pres. Obama

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   2 comments

Michael Kuzma, esq., attorney for Leonard Peltier, is encouraging supporters worldwide to write directly to President Obama, and has drafted the sample letter below.

The letter can also be downloaded in a Word *.doc or a *.pdf file format at:

Thank you for your never-ending support !!!

Els Herten,
coordinator KOLA / IPF

- - - sample letter - - -


The Honorable President Barack H. Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N. W.
Washington, DC 20500

Mr. President:
I am writing to you regarding the case of Leonard Peltier. Mr. Peltier is currently incarcerated at USP Canaan in Waymart, Pennsylvania, for the deaths of FBI agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams, which occurred at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota on June 26, 1975.
There have been numerous television, radio, newspaper and magazine articles about Mr. Peltier's case. Public protests and outcry continue to this day, and those persons championing Mr. Peltier include such human rights luminaries as former South African President Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu; former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachov; the European, Belgian and Italian Parliaments; to name just a few.
Furthermore, all across the world, Mr. Peltier is regarded as a highly respected human rights activist; and he has been awarded several prestigious human rights awards, and has been nominated five times for the Nobel Peace Prize.
At the time Mr. Peltier was tried in 1977, government prosecutors merely turned over 3,500 pages of material to his defense attorneys. Mr. Peltier's attorneys have recently discovered that the FBI actually maintains 142,579 pages of material relating to the case. Much of this material has never been released to Mr. Peltier or his attorneys. To this very day, the government is vigorously resisting efforts to release this material under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). It is Mr. Peltier's contention that he will be exonerated by the full release of these FBI documents.
Mr. Peltier has always maintained his innocence and even the government attorney, who prosecuted the case against Mr. Peltier, has conceded that the government does not know who shot agents Coler and Williams, nor what Mr. Peltier's role in the firefight might have been. In 2003, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit stated that, "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." See Peltier v. Booker, 348 F. 3d 888, 896.   
Mr. Peltier will turn 65 on September 12th of this year. He is now in deteriorating health and has spent 33 years of his life in prison for a crime he did not commit. It is my sincere hope that you will give serious consideration to granting Mr. Peltier clemency.
The President and only the President has the power to grant clemency. It is a power given to the President by the United States Constitution with no conditions attached. Clemency is not about right or wrong. It is about mercy.
Thank you.
[your signature + full name and address]

- - - end sample letter - - -
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director of KOLA, an international human rights organization concentrating on indigenous peoples worldwide
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