Pardon or Commutation for Leonard
President Obama should pardon or commute the sentence of Leonard Peltier as a gesture toward improving relations with Native Americans and all the diverse groups that now populate this country, in preparation for a resolution of longstanding conflicts that hinder the realization of our collective potential.
Leonard Peltier was convicted of being a participant in an insurrection in which two FBI agents were killed in 1975. He has been a model prisoner and contributed to humanitarian efforts during his time in prison, and he has openly expressed remorse and sadness over the deaths of the two men.
Leonard Peltier is widely recognized in the human rights community for his good deeds and in turn has won several human rights awards including the North Star Frederick Douglas Award; Federation of Labour (Ontario, Canada) Humanist of the Year Award; Human Rights Commission of Spain International Human Rights Prize; and 2004 Silver Arrow Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 2004, 2006, 2007, and again in 2008, Mr. Peltier also was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Mr. Peltier is now over 60 years of age — a great-grandfather — and suffers from partial blindness, diabetes, a heart condition, and high blood pressure.
Rather than presenting a threat to the public, Mr. Peltier’s release would help to heal a wound that has long impeded better relations between the federal government and American Indians.
Mr. Peltier deserves to be reunited with his family and allowed to live the remaining years of his life in peace.
- Jim Giddings (researcher and peace activist) Dec 05 @ 09:46AM PST
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