Urge U.S. Parole Commission to Finally Free Leonard Peltier Now.

Leonard Peltier, 79, a Native American activist in the American Indian Movement and citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians (ND), is serving two life sentences in a maximum-security federal prison for his alleged role in the deaths of two FBI agents during a shootout on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota in 1975. Imprisoned at the age of 31, Mr. Peltier is now elderly, and his conviction is turning into a de facto death sentence.

Peltier is serving a sentence for aiding and abetting in a case where his co-defendants, principally charged with the murders, were found not guilty on grounds of self-defense. In fact, the prosecutors have admitted they do not know who killed the agents and could not prove Mr. Peltier committed a crime that day.

Leonard Peltier is still serving time in a maximum security prison 49 years later.

For decades, Peltier’s unjust imprisonment has been recognized as the product of a flawed prosecution, trial, and conviction by national and international human rights organizations such as the United Nations, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch. They have been joined by the National Congress of American Indians, American Civil Liberties Union, the Democratic National Committee's Native American Caucus, the National Caucus of Native American State Legislators, and a global list of human rights leaders (such as Nelson Mandela, Coretta Scott King, and the Dalai Lama.)

A former FBI agent familiar with his case has written to President Biden asking to release Peltier. A former federal prosecutor who oversaw Peltier’s post-trial sentencing and appeals also wrote to Biden asking for clemency, saying:

“I have realized that the prosecution and continued incarceration of Mr. Peltier was and is unjust. We were not able to prove that Mr. Peltier personally committed any offense on the Pine Ridge Reservation.”

The prosecutorial misconduct and constitutional violations inflicted, have stolen years from Peltier’s life. The current facts of Mr. Peltier’s imprisonment calls out for mercy: He suffers from many health issues including diabetes and kidney disease, and his condition worsened after he got COVID in prison. His incarceration is now at the stage where it is both cruel and unusual punishment.

Mr. Peltier’s continued incarceration is a symbol to our Native community of the systemic inequities of the criminal justice system in America.

We cannot claim in good faith that the fundamental guarantees of justice and accountability extend to all Americans and the failure of the United States to recognize this injustice is preventing our community from healing and moving forward.

Together with a broad coalition of organizations representing millions of people across the country, we’re asking the Parole Commission to recognize that enough is enough and finally grant Leonard his freedom.

Click ‘START WRITING’ to sign and send your message urging the U.S. Parole Commission to finally release Leonard Peltier now.