Leonard Peltier: US Parole Examiner Refuses to Consider NewEvidence

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at SPAMosu.edu
Tue Jun 13 11:26:58 MDT 2000


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 12, 2000

LEONARD PELTIER REVIEWED FOR PAROLE
United States Parole Examiner Refuses to Consider New Evidence

Native American rights activist, Leonard Peltier was reviewed for
parole today during a hearing held at Leavenworth Federal
Penitentiary in Kansas.  The hearing was held to determine whether
there is any reason why the Parole Commission should change their
1993 decision to deny Peltier parole.  Today Peltier's
representatives told the Commission that Peltier's health, serious
family needs, and his positive program achievements were all reasons
for the Commission to reconsider their denial of parole to Peltier.
They also argued that the Commission's original decision to deny
parole was wrong.  They said the Commission has yet to justify their
reasons for denying his release in excess of what their guidelines
recommend.

The Parole Examiner refused to read a report from Dr. Peter Basch
who, after reviewing Peltier's recent medical records, determined
that problems with Peltier's health could result in "recurrent
central retinal vein occlusion, stroke, heart disease, and kidney
failure."  The doctor also noted that several of Mr. Peltier's health
problems had not been treated appropriately by prison medical staff.

Attending the parole hearing were representatives for Amnesty
International, the National Council of Churches, the National
Congress of American Indians, and the Assembly of First Nations.
Legal council included attorneys Jennifer Harbury, Carl Nadler, and
former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark.  Jean Ann Day, survivor of
the Pine Ridge "reign of terror" also testified.

The Parole examiner did not respond to pleas from Amnesty
International or the National Council of Churches, and he showed no
interest in the eight parole plans offering Peltier housing and
employment from various Native Organizations and tribes.

Furthermore, the examiner refused to accept or consider the 10,000
letters collected over the last three months from US citizens, human
rights organizations, luminaries and members of the international
community supporting Peltier's release.

Without deliberation or the consideration of any documents presented,
the parole examiner recommended that Peltier's sentence be continued
until his next full parole hearing in 2008.  Those in attendance
reported that the examiner wrote the denial while the presentation
was still being made.

Peltier's defense council will continue to protest the Parole
Commission's denial of parole to Peltier in federal court.
Supporters will continue efforts to gain Peltier's release through a
grant of Executive Clemency.  Leonard Peltier was originally
convicted for the murders of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Indian
Reservation.  However, formerly withheld documents supporting
Peltier's innocence would later force the prosecution to admit that
they could not prove who actually killed the agents.  Despite this,
Peltier has remained in prison for 24 years.  Amnesty International
considers him to be a political prisoner who should be immediately
released.

Call the White House Comments Line Today
Demand Justice for Leonard Peltier! 202-456-1111

Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
PO Box 583
Lawrence, KS 66044
785-842-5774
www.freepeltier.org

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