Its. Patrick Lehyo (D-Vt.), former longtime chairman and longest-serving member of the Judiciary Committee US Senate, said on Tuesday it was time for the Native American activist Leonard Peltier To be released from federal prison and go home.
Without hesitation, Lehi, who is currently the chairman of the appropriations committee, answered yes to all questions about Peltier.
Do you know who Peltier is? “Yes.”
Native American Activist Who Has Been in Jail? for decades? “Yes.”
Is it time to release him? “Yes.”
This appears to be the first time that Leahy has urged independence for Peltier, making him the highest-ranked official in the US government upon his release. Leahy, who has announced that he is retiring from the Senate, is the third in the line of presidential succession after the vice president. Kamala Harris and house speaker Nancy Pelosic (D-California.).
Peltier has been in prison for 44 years for a crime he says he never committed. Their the trial was full of malpractice, Prosecutors hid important evidence. The FBI threatened and coerced witnesses to lie. A juror admitted that she was biased against Peltier’s race on the second day of the trial, but was allowed to stay anyway.
There was never evidence that he killed two FBI agents 1975 Pine Ridge Reservation Shootout in South Dakota. But the FBI needed someone to take the fall. It had lost just two agents, and Peltier’s co-defendants were acquitted on the grounds of self-defense. His trial was also ongoing as the FBI was trying to suppress the activities of the American Indian Movement (AIM), a grassroots group of activists focusing on federal treaty rights violations, discrimination and police brutality targeting Native Americans. focused.
AIM member Peltier was present when the shooting took place on June 26, 1975. So the US Attorney’s Office charged him with murder based solely on the testimony of people who had been bullied and intimidated by the FBI, some of whom later withdrew their testimony. ,
By all appearances, the FBI is simply waiting for Peltier to die in prison.
Peltier is now 77 years old and ill on a peninsula in Florida. He is probably America’s longest-serving political prisoner. her story still goes on hundreds of thousands of people To sign petitions urging his release. A surprising mix of human rights leaders, including Pope Francis, the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela and Coretta Scott King, have called for his release. Major artists including Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt and Rage Against the Machine have held concerts in his name. Elected tribal leaders and the National Congress of American Indians Passed resolutions requesting clemency,
Even the American Lawyer Who Helped Peltier Jail wrote to President Joe Biden this summer He urged her to pardon him.
Former U.S. Attorney James Reynolds told Biden in a July letter, “I write today from a rare position for a former prosecutor: to commute the sentence of a man I helped put behind bars. ” “Over time, and with the benefit of foresight, I have realized that Mr. Peltier’s prosecution and continued imprisonment was and is unjust. We were not able to prove that Mr. Peltier personally committed any crime on the Pine Ridge Reservation. has done.
With Biden in the White House, Peltier’s supporters say they feel a new sense of hope That Peltier may have a shot at living out his final years as a free man.
A White House spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether Biden is considering a clemency for Peltier.