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Clemency & Hope
DEVELOPMENTS IN THE EFFORTs TO
FREE LEONARD PELTIER
LPDC media update,
Amnesty International news
Interview with Clinton on
Comments by Rev. Jesse
Jackson and Congressman Ackerman
LPDC media update, telephone update
This is an LPDC update on some MORE positive delevopments
regarding the Leonard Peltier clemency effort. The White House officially
released a statement last Monday reaffirming the President's commitment to
deciding on Leonard Peltier's clemency petition before leaving office. The
release prompted a media outburst. The story was covered by CNN, NPR, AP,
the LA Times, USA Today, the Washington Post and numerous other papers.
We want to congratulate each of you for all of your phone calls, faxes, and
letters. We have made it through a critical period, the Thanksgiving
Holiday, without a denial and we are still going strong. Our advisors
suspect that the White House released the statement in order to test the waters
and find out what kind of reaction would ensue.
Let's give the White House an overwhelming reaction of support for Leonard
Peltier's clemency! In our last urgent telephone action, we said we would
update you after December 1st. Since there has been no decision, it is
important to keep up and increase, the intensity of our calls. Please continue
the daily calls through December 1st and on through the month of December.
There is a good chance a decision will be made after the Freedom Walk (December
10) and before the Christmas Holiday, so please hang in there and keep up the
Amnesty International urges Clinton to grant pardon to Leonard
Peltier, 16 November 2000
* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty
Amnesty International is today calling on President Clinton
to grant Leonard Peltier presidential pardon before leaving office. Leonard
Peltier, a Native American Indian, has been in prison for 23 years for the
murder of two Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents.
In a letter sent today, Amnesty International urges President Clinton in his
last few months of power to free a prisoner whose guilt has long been in
"Since all of Leonard Peltier's legal appeals have been exhausted, it is
our firm view that an act of clemency is not only timely, but a necessary step
in the name of justice," said Pierre Sané, Amnesty International's
Amnesty International believes that the evidence that Peltier shot the two FBI
agents is far from conclusive. One of the organization's pivotal concerns was
that his extradition from Canada was on the basis of a testimony by an alleged
eye-witness who was coerced by the FBI into making false statements. In a recent
public hearing in Toronto, Canada, Myrtle Poor Bear reasserted that her original
claim -- that she was Peltier's girlfriend and that she saw him shoot the
agents -- was false, and was a result of months of threats and harassment
from FBI agents. She had also said that she had been 80 kilometers (50
miles) away from the scene at the time of the shooting.
Amnesty International has repeatedly voiced serious concerns over the fairness
of the legal proceedings which led to Leonard Peltier's conviction and sentence,
and believes that political factors may have influenced the way in which the
case was conducted.
The organization has monitored Leonard Peltier's case extensively over many
years, sending observers to his trial in 1977, and to numerous subsequent appeal
and evidentiary hearings. These appeals, however, have failed to dispel
substantial doubts about the fairness of the legal proceedings. In June 2000
Amnesty International attended the interim parole hearing where the Parole
Commission stood by their 1993 decision that the next full parole hearing should
be in 2008.
Interview with Bill Clinton - Democracy Now, 9 November 2000
AMY GOODMAN: President Clinton, since it's rare to get you
onthe phone, let me ask you another question. And that is what isyour position
on granting Leonard Peltier, the Native American activist, executive clemency?
PRESIDENT CLINTON: Well, I don't ... I don't have a position Ican announce yet.
I think that ... I believe there is a new application for him in there. And when
I have time, after the election is over, I'm going to review all the remaining
executive clemency applications. And, you know, see what the merits dictate. I
will try to do what I think the right thing to do is, based on the evidence. And
I ... I have never had the time actually to sit down myself, and review that
case. I know it's very important to a lot of people, maybe on both sides of the
issue. And I think I owe it to them, to give it an honest look-see. So part of
my responsibilities in the last ten weeks of office after the election will be
to review the requests for pardons and executive clemencies, and give them a
fair hearing. And I pledge to do that.
AMY GOODMAN: And you will give an answer in his case?
PRESIDENT CLINTON: Oh, yeah, I'll decide one way or the other.
Amy Goodman of
"Democracy Now" has struck again. She posed questions to both Rev.
Jesse Jackson and Congressman Ackerman. Here is what they said:
Comments of Reverend Jesse Jackson, NY
Democratic Congressmember Gary Ackerman
Amy Goodman: "Reverend Jackson, President Clinton says
he's weighing executive clemency for Leonard Peltier, what are your thoughts on
Jackson: "I hope that when he weighs it, he will free Peltier. He's been in
jail a very long time for a crime he never committed in the first place. I hope
that as an act of humanity that President Clinton will free Peltier."
Goodman: "Will you talk to him about it?"
Jackson: "I have."
Goodman: And what has he said?
Jackson: "He's weighing it."
New York Congressmember Gary Ackerman,
ranking Democrat on Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere under the
Committee on International Relations:
Goodman: President Clinton says he's weighing executive
clemency for Leonard Peltier..."
New York Congress member Gary Ackerman: "I think he should review it.
There's no term limits on justice. Sometimes with the benefit of history and
hindsight, sometimes some of these cases should be reviewed. It appears that he
might have gotten a very bum rap based on the temperament of the times and the
fervor of the feds and the dislike for people who protest".
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse