Date and Time
Friday, August 29th, 2014 at 8:00pm
SIMPLEMAN MUSIC & GRANTS of MACON GA. PRESENTS
FREE LEONARD PELTIER NOW! BENEFIT
with BRUISED GRASS @ Grants, Macon GA
Come enjoy the sweet sounds of BRUISED GRASS, a regional band from Tallahassee, Florida. They will be giving it up all night for a great cause, to benefit Leonard Peltier. LP, now 70 with medical ailments that the Florida prison refuses to treat him for or let him receive treatment for. He needs every bit of donations we can raise for him.
Please sign the petition to Free him on the LP website below!
More info below and MORE TO COME ON EVENT!!!
Q:Who IS Leonard Peltier? Why is he in Prison?
Leonard Peltier is known the world over as a Native American Political Prisoner, yet, Leonard, amongst other things is also an artist, a humanitarian, a writer, a father, grandfather and an elder. He has been nominated numerous times for the Nobel Peace Prize, was once on the ballot in CA, for President of the United States. After 38 years in prison, stints in solitary confinement, horrible beatings, and repeatedly having had his rights voided at every turn Leonard has somehow managed to remain human, kind, and hopeful.
In 1977, Leonard Peltier was wrongfully convicted for the murders of 2 FBI Agents on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The occupation of Wounded Knee and an era in Indian Country known as the “ reign of terror” led to an incident on June 26, 1975. Three men were killed. Two F.B.I. Agents; Jack Coler and Ron Williams as well as a young Indian named Joe Stuntz. The use of constitutional violations, witness coercions, evidence tampering, and a myriad other violations of justice put Leonard in prison and have kept him there for almost 40 years.
the U.S. Attorney admits that no one knows who fired the fatal shots.
As noted by Judge Heaney of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, in his 1991 letter to U.S. Senator Inouye in support of a grant of Executive Clemency to Peltier: "The United States government overreacted at Wounded Knee. Instead of carefully considering the legitimate grievances of the Native Americans, the response was essentially a military one which culminated in the deadly firefight on June 26, 1975... The United States government must share responsibility with the Native Americans for the... firefight... the government’s role can properly be considered a mitigating circumstance.”
As compared to similar cases, Mr. Peltier has served a significantly longer period of imprisonment than is normal before a grant of parole is made.
Q:Why has Leonard been there so long?
There are so many reasons why Leonard is still in prison. However, it’s become quite clear to millions around the world that Leonard remains in prison for political reasons hence ( political prisoner). To release Leonard Peltier would acknowledge the grave misconduct and injustice he unfortunately has come to symbolize. But as long as he remains in prison and the truth continues to be suppressed, there will never be the long overdue healing that this story requires.
As compared to similar cases, Mr. Peltier has served a significantly longer period of imprisonment than is normal before a grant of parole is made. Yet, the U.S. Parole Commission has made it clear that parole will not even be considered until the year 2024, when Mr. Peltier will have served much more time in prison than the norm according to the Commission's own congressionally mandated guidelines. No adequate reason has been given for such arbitrary and discriminatory treatment.
After the only other two people put on trial for the exact same crime were acquitted by reason of self-defense, Leonard was the only one left that they could put on trial and surely someone had to pay and pay... and pay... and pay.
"Just what was Mr. Peltier convicted of, as we cannot find any evidence of first-degree murder in the record?" (Judge Heaney, 8th Circuit Court of Appeals).
Q:This is the first time I have ever heard of Leonard Peltier why I should help Free him?
Ever been falsely accused of anything or denied justice? If you haven’t imagine being targeted intentionally for something you didn’t do. Then, imagine not being able to defend yourself and denied justice. If that’s not bad enough, imagine those that targeted you breaking the law and our Constitution just to make sure you’re defeated. This is the story of Leonard Peltier. If they can do it to him rest assured that they can do it to you too! If there truly are no equal rights & justice for Leonard, if the constitution can be violated over and over and over again. If the agencies that are set to protect us are allowed to falsify evidence AGAINST us, then we as a society, as individuals will never be FREE.
Here is a statement from Amnesty International in regards to Leonard
Leonard Peltier, an Anishinabe-Lakota Native American, is a federal prisoner serving two consecutive life sentences for the murders of two Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents in 1975. Amnesty International (AI) has studied his case extensively over many years and remains seriously concerned about the fairness of proceedings leading to his trial and conviction. AI believes that political factors may have influenced the way in which the case was prosecuted. Leonard Peltier’s most recent petition for release on parole was denied by the US Parole Commission in 2009, and AI understands that he is not eligible for consideration for parole again until 2024. Given that all available legal remedies have been exhausted and that that Leonard Peltier has now spent over 36 years in prison and is in poor health, AI believes that in the context of these ongoing concerns, the US authorities should order Leonard Peltier’s release from prison on humanitarian grounds and in the interests of justice.
Leonard Peltier was a leading member of the American Indian Movement (AIM), an organization which seeks to promote and uphold Native American Indian rights. On 26 June 1975, during a confrontation involving AIM members on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota, FBI agents Ronald Williams and Jack Coler were shot dead. Leonard Peltier was convicted of their murders in 1977 and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences. Leonard Peltier does not deny that he was present during the incident. However, he has always denied killing the agents as was alleged by the prosecution at his trial.
A key alleged eyewitness to the shootings was Myrtle Poor Bear, a Lakota Native woman who lived at Pine Ridge. On the basis of her statement that she had seen Leonard Peltier kill Ronald Williams and Jack Coler, Leonard Peltier was extradited from Canada, where he had fled following the shootings. However Myrtle Poor Bear later retracted her testimony. Although not called as a prosecution witness at trial, the trial judge refused to allow Leonard Peltier’s attorneys to call Myrtle Poor Bear as a defense witness on the grounds that her testimony “could be highly prejudicial to the government.” In 2000, Myrtle Poor Bear issued a public statement to say that her original testimony was a result of months of threats and harassment from FBI agents.
In 1980 documents were released to Leonard Peltier’s lawyers as a result of a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act. The documents contained evidence which might have assisted Leonard Peltier’s case, but which had been withheld by the prosecution at trial. However in 1986, the US Court of Appeal for the Eighth Circuit denied Leonard Pelter a retrial, stating that: “We recognize that there is some evidence in this record of improper conduct on the part of some FBI agents, but we are reluctant to impute even further improprieties to them.”
In 1991 Gerald Heaney, the judge who presided over Leonard Peltier’s 1986 appeal hearing, expressed his concerns about the case. In a letter to Senator Daniel Inouye, Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs, Gerald Heaney wrote that he believed: “the FBI used improper tactics in securing Peltier’s extraction from Canada and in otherwise investigating and trying the Peltier case.” He added: “Although our Court decided that these actions were not grounds for reversals, they are, in my view, factors that merit consideration in any petition for leniency filed.”
The US Parole Commission has held a number of parole hearings on Leonard Peltier’s case. However, it has always denied parole on the grounds that Peltier did not accept criminal responsibility for the murders of the two FBI agents. This is despite the fact that, after one such hearing, the Commission acknowledged that, “the prosecution has conceded the lack of any direct evidence that you personally participated in the executions of two FBI agents.”
Leonard Peltier is currently imprisoned in Florida, approximately 2,000 miles from his family in North Dakota. It is a physical hardship for his family to visit him, and almost impossible financially. As a result, he is very rarely visited by his loved ones.
Leonard Peltier is now aged 69 and in poor health, suffering from diabetes, among other things.
The American Indian Movement (AIM) is an activist group involved in promoting the rights of “traditionalist” Indians during a period of intense conflict in the 1970s. In the two years prior to the confrontation in which the two FBI agents were killed, more than 60 Indians on the Pine Ridge reservation had been killed, allegedly by paramilitary squads connected to the tribal government, without anyone being brought to justice for the crimes. AIM members who had come to the reservation to assist “traditionalists” opposing the tribal government were also allegedly threatened. Relations between AIM and the FBI were also tense, with accusations that the authorities had not done enough to protect those at risk on the reservation.
The confrontation in which the two FBI agents were killed took place after the agents entered the reservation with an arrest warrant and started following a red pick-up truck. An exchange of gun fire took place. Evidence was presented at trial to show that the agents received multiple shots and were quickly disabled before being shot dead at point-blank range.
Two other AIM leaders were initially charged with the agents’ murders and were tried separately: no evidence was presented to link them to the point-blank shootings. The jury acquitted them on hearing evidence about the atmosphere of violence and intimidation on the reservation and concluded that arguably they might have been acting in self-defense during the exchange of gunfire.
Following their acquittal, the FBI renewed its efforts to apprehend Leonard Peltier, securing his extradition from Canada in 1976, where he had fled following the shootings. At his trial, the prosecution alleged that the gun which killed the agents was his. During post-trial investigations, the defense team discovered a telex message suggesting that Peltier’s gun contained a different firing pin from the one used to kill the agents. This was raised on appeal and a hearing to consider this evidence was held. However during the hearing the significance of the telex was contested by the government, which argued that sufficient evidence had been presented to the jury at trial to show that Leonard Peltier had “aided and abetted” the killings, even if he had not been the actual killer.
Amnesty International believes however that the outcome may well have been different had Leonard Peltier been able to effectively challenge the ballistics evidence linking him to the fatal shots.
Q: How do I write to Leonard?
A: Leonard loves to get letters and cards he can be contacted at the following address:
LEONARD PELTIER #89637-132
USP COLEMAN I
P.O. BOX 1033
COLEMAN, FL 33521
Note: Please always remember that, even if unsolicited, mail can result in sanctions against Leonard.
General correspondence is opened and inspected by staff for both contraband and content that "might threaten the security or good order of the institution."
All letters must have a return address on the envelope. Please also put a return address on the letter itself, as prisoners are almost never given the envelopes.
Avoid using white-out, stickers, tape, colored ink or glitter.
Written correspondence and drawings may be in pencil, standard ink pen, typewritten, or computer generated. No felt pens, markers, crayon, or colored pencil, etc.
Do not send postage stamps or self-addressed stamped envelopes. Leonard must purchase stamps and stationary from the prison commissary.
Please also do not send gifts of any kind as they will be rejected. Also note that tobacco ties and the like are prohibited.
There is a limit of 25 photos that Leonard is permitted to have in his possession at any one time, so we recommend that you import images to a word processed page (as part of a letter you send, for example) or that you make a photocopy of the original photograph. If you do send a photo, generally, 4x6 size or smaller is preferred. These photos must be non-polaroid, and cannot contain nudity or be suggestive in nature.
All personal artwork must be in black and white, photocopied pages can be in color.
Most facilities do not allow torn pages from books, magazines or newspapers. You may send photocopies of such items.
You may arrange for new paperback books to be sent to Leonard (hardbound books are prohibited). He may receive only several books at a time, and they must be received directly from a retailer or publisher.
Leonard may receive certain commercial publications, i.e., he can subscribe to or receive publications without prior approval as long as the incoming publication is not "detrimental to the security, discipline, or good order of the institution, or facilitate criminal activity" and as long as the publication is received directly from a retailer or publisher.