The committee that has long waged the crusade for Peltier’s freedom is unveiling a restructured organization and strategic campaign.
In spite of documented FBI misconduct and President Clinton’s failure to grant clemency in January of 2001, Peltier supporters are determined to rally for justice.
Friday, November 2, 2001 in Fargo, North Dakota, Attorney Eric Seitz filed a motion to reduce Mr. Peltier’s sentence from consecutive to concurrent life sentences.
The motion argues that Peltier’s sentence should be reduced because the original trial judge was unaware of evidence proving
Mr. Peltier did not shoot the agents. The LPDC believes a reduction would obligate Mr. Peltier’s immediate release through parole.
Peltier was tried in 1976 for the killing of two FBI agents who with back up from a swat team-like force, chased a red pick up truck onto the Jumping Bull residence on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota,June 26, 1975.
The FBI claims the day of the shoot out, they entered the ranch in search of a young Indian man accused of stealing a used pair of cowboy boots. Peltier, with other young American Indian Movement (AIM) members – mostly in their teens, were on the ranch to protect Mr. and Mrs.
Jumping Bull, traditional elders of the Lakota people.
The Jumping Bulls had asked for AIM protection from a community at odds over traditional
versus contemporary values. Excessive violence against Lakota traditionals had often been reported in the years preceding the shoot out.
FBI involvement in such action was a disturbing factor in tribal disputes over land management and sale of reservation natural resources.
As the shoot out ensued between AIM supporters and FBI agents, the leader of Pine Ridge’s
tribal council, a nontraditional, signed in secret, an agreement transferring 1/8th of the reservation, rich in minerals and uranium over to the federal government.
The traditional Lakota suffered the loss of one young Indian man – his death never investigated, as well as the loss of tribal lands.
Look for two more important cases to be filed on Peltier’s behalf this coming year.
Until Freedom Is Won!
The New Peltier Justice Campaign
Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
PO Box 583
Lawrence, KS 66044
For Further Information
Contact: Debra Peebles or Gina Chiala
Leonard Peltier Defense Committee Official Web Site.