Thursday, January 19, 2017

Obama Rejects Clemency for Wrongfully Convicted Leonard Peltier

Obama Rejects Clemency for Wrongfully Convicted Leonard Peltier

by Stephen Lendman

Peltier was politically imprisoned in 1976. He was framed for the deaths of two FBI agents, killed during a 1975 Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota shoot-out.

He's serving two consecutive life terms for activism, not murder or any other crime. He’s one of countless victims of US viciousness, languishing in gulag hell unjustly.

Throughout his long ordeal, he’s been denied parole, clemency, a pardon, due process justice on appeal (including by the US Supreme Court), or retrial for serious prosecutorial and FBI irregularities, including fabricated evidence framing him.

He was targeted for being a Native American activist, a freedom fighter, imprisoned to silence him.

Incarcerated for 40 years isn’t enough. On Wednesday, the US Office of the Pardon Attorney made it official. An email to Peltier’s attorney Martin Garbus said clemency was “not warranted.”

“Your client’s application was therefore denied by the president on January 18, 2017…Under the Constitution, there is no appeal from this decision.”

Aged 72, Peltier is seriously ill. Obama’s contempt for justice sentenced him to death. He’ll breathe his last in gulag hell, condemned to slow death for doing the right thing.

“I think it’s fair to say that if he doesn’t get commuted by President Obama, he’ll die in jail. He’s a very sick man,” Garbus explained. 

“So, Obama’s not granting him clemency is like a sentence of death. Trump ain’t going to do it. And he’s very sick, and he’s not going to live past that time.” 

“I don’t want to be negative, but that’s the reality. He’s very sick, and he’s been in prison over 40 years, hard years, six years of solitary” - slow torture intended to break even the most strong-willed.

Garbus said Pope Francis sent Obama an 11th hour appeal on Peltier’s behalf, to no avail. Last spring, he said he’s “prepared to die” in prison.

“I would prefer it be back at my home, but I’m realistic about my chances. I have my funeral all planned, I want a full ceremonial burial, with drumming, everything. Traditionally, it should be about three days.”

Amnesty International’s executive director Margaret Huang issued a statement, saying:

“We are deeply saddened by the news that President Obama will not let Leonard go home. Despite serious concerns about the fairness of legal proceedings that led to his trial and conviction, Peltier was imprisoned for more than 40 years.” 

“He has always maintained his innocence. The families of the FBI agents who were killed during the 1975 confrontation between the FBI and American Indian Movement (AIM) members have a right to justice, but justice will not be served by Peltier’s continued imprisonment.”

Granting clemency to Chelsea Manning ignored thousands of others denied justice on his watch. Here’s a list of commutations Obama turned down throughout his deplorable tenure.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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