October 31, 2012
Leonard Peltier may be described as a father, writer and an activist for the rights of people. However, he is still serving consecutive life sentence for the murder of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975. He has been imprisoned since 1977 and is not planned to be released until 2040. Whether he is guilty or not is still a controversy to some. Also, some people feel like his trial and sentence was unjust especially for a crime that the bottom root has not really been found. The Murder happened in 1975 during a shootout. Peltier fled to Canada before he could be traced because he felt as if he would not be given a fair trial in the United States. The Canadian court was presented with an affidavit and Peltier was brought back to the United States. Two other people were accused of being a part of the murder but were later let go because it was said that they fired their guns out of self-defense. While on the other hand, Leonard was denied self-defense. There was a point where a witness was presented the Canadian court with affidavits signed by Myrtle Poor Bear who said she was Mr. Peltier’s girlfriend and allegedly saw him shoot the agents. In fact, Ms. Poor Bear had never met Mr. Peltier and was not present during the shoot-out. Soon after, Ms. Poor Bear recanted her statements and said the FBI threatened her and coerced her into signing the affidavits. Mr. Peltier was returned to the U.S. where his case was mysteriously transferred from the judge who tried his co-defendants to a more conservative federal judge in North Dakota. Key witnesses like Myrtle Poor Bear were not allowed to testify and unlike the Robideau and Butler trial in Iowa, evidence regarding violence on Pine Ridge was severely restricted. Reading more I began to see why people felt Peltier was wrongly convicted. The evidence did not back up the accusations that Peltier was...
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