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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Native American activist and member of the American Indian Movement
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: June 26, 1975
Date of arrest: February 6, 1976
Date of birth: September 12, 1944
Victims profile: Ronald A. Williams, and Jack R. Coler (FBI Special Agents)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Pine Ridge, South Dakota, USA
Status: Sentenced to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment on June 2, 1977

Leonard Peltier Case Chronology

  • 12 September 1944: Leonard Peltier is born is Grand Forks, North Dakota to Leo Peltier (Chippewa) and Alvina Robideau (Dakota/Chippewa).


  • 1948-1953: Lives mostly with his paternal grandparents Alex & Mary Dubois-Peltier on the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Reservation, North Dakota.


  • 1953-1956: Student at the BIA's Wahpeton Indian School, ND.


  • 1957: Finishes 9th grade at Flandreau Indian School, South Dakota, then returns to the Turtle Mountain Reservation.


  • 1958: Attends a political meeting at Turtle Mountain about the U.S. government's plans to "exterminate" the reservation. This inspired him to become a warrior on behalf of his people.


  • 1958: Rejected for scholarship by the Sante Fe Art School; drops out of school.


  • 1959: Moves to Seattle, Washington, and lives with the family of his cousin Bob Robideau.


  • 1961: Given medical discharge from the U.S. Marines because of recurring problems with his jaw.


  • 1965: Leonard Peltier and Bob Robideau open a auto body shop in Seattle, WA.


  • 1968: The American Indian Movement (AIM) is established in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Leonard Peltier plays no part in this.


  • 1969: Occupation of Alcatraz island, California, by Native American activists. Leonard Peltier plays no part, but this occupation inspires his own politicam consciousness.


  • 8 March 1970: Leonard Peltier and other NA activists occupy the abandoned Fort Lawton, near Seattle, WA - testing an old federal law that gives Native Americans first claim to lands abandoned by federal agencies. The activists are beaten and briefly jailed, but ultimately Ft. lawton becomes a NA Cultural Center.


  • 1972: Leonard Peltier joins AIM, moves to the Pine Ridge Reservation, SD, working with AIM co-founder Dennis Banks. He then moves to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to work with the local AIM office. In the fall, Leonard Peltier joins the Trail of Broken Treaties caravan to Washington DC, to bring a list of 20 grievances to the U.S. government. When BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior Dept.) officials "forget" to find the promised accommodations for the elderly, the activists take over the BIA building a few blocks from the White House - just days before the 1972 presidential elections. The Nixon administration avoids violent confrontation by promising to review the grievances list (they never did), and paying the return-home expenses of the activists. Leonard Peltier serves on security during the BIA takeover, and is thus marked a "troublemaker" by the FBI.


  • 1973: During 71 days, AIM occupies the village of Wounded Knee, SD. Leonard Peltier plays no part. The siege ends on May 9th. The infamous GOONs continue their reign of terror against Oglala Lakota traditional people and their AIM supporters.


  • late 1973 - early 1975: Leonard Peltier joins the Puyallup and Nisqually fishing rights struggle in Washington, and takes part in AIM protests in Arizona and Wisconsin.


  • early 1975: Crescendoing Reign of Terror during early 1975 prompts Pine Ridge Elders to summon AIM for protection from attacks by the GOONs. Among those who respond: Dennis Banks, Bob Robideau, Dino Butler, and Leonard Peltier. They set up a small tent city on the Jumping Bull family property near the town of Oglala, hoping to fend off further GOON attacks.


  • 26 June 1975: FBI agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams, in unmarked cars, drive at full-speed into the Jumping Bull property, ostensibly chasing a red pickup truck in which they suspect a minor thief is riding. The FBI as never explained why it made such a concerted effort to catch that thief - accused of stealing a pair of used cowboy boots! - when it had failed to investigate the recent deaths of dozens of AIM supporters in the same area. A firefight erupts between the intruding unidentified agents and the AIM activists. Within minutes, scores of FBI agents, U.S. marshals, BIA police, and trigger-happy GOONs surround the Jumping Bull property. Many of them had been in place nearby at least 20 minutes before, according to FBI documents that were released years later. The FBI agents Coler and Williams, and one AIM activist, Joe Stuntz Killsright, die during the fierce hours-long firefight. By late afternoon, Leonard Peltier and more than two dozen others manage to flee the property and escape, despite being surrounded by a thightening cordon of lawmen. Meanwhile, the chairman of the Pine Ridge tribal council, Dick Wilson signs a secret agreement transferring one-eighth of the Pine Ridge Reservation to the federal government - lands rich in uranium and other minerals. Many people around the world believe the FBI's June 26th attack was a planned diversion to conceal the land transfer - a diversion that went terribly wrong when their agents were killed.


  • July 1975: Following the escape of the AIM acivists from the Jumping Bull property, the FBI stages a massive manhunt for the escapees, terrorizing the Pine Ridge traditional community.


  • August 1975: Leonard Peltier secretly attends the Crow Dog Sun Dance ceremony on the Rosebud Reservation, SD; then heads north and west, escaping across the Canadian border and winning refuge with a remote group of First Nation people in the Rocky Mountains.


  • 5 September 1975: In the midst of a new flurry of unexplained murders of AIM members and supporters, the FBI raids the home of medicine man Leonard Crow Dog, spiritual leader of the Wounded Knee takeover, and arrests Darrel "Dino" Butler - another escapee from the Oglala firefight - along with Crow Dog himself and Micmac AIM activist Anna Mae Aquash. neither of the latter were at the Oglala firefight. The FBI threatens Anna Mae with death unless she gives false testimony against Peltier and others from AIM. She refuses.


  • 10 September 1975: A station wagon driven by Bob Robideau, another fleeing escapee, explodes near Wichita, Kansas. From the wreck the FBI discovers a badly burned AR-15 rifle - claiming without any proof whatsoever: 1) that it was the weapon that killed the agents; and 2) that it was Peltier's own rifle. This weapon and the shell casings supposedly from it were among the key evidence later used against Peltier in his trial.


  • October 1975: FBI lab reports - not revealed until they wee obtained years later through the Freedom of Information Act - state that the Wichita AR-15 rifle "contains a different pin than the rifle used at the jumping Bull scene", thus flatly disproving that the Wichita rifle was the murder weapon. This and other pieces of exculpatory evidence were hidden away by the prosecution and withheld from the defense at Peltier's later trial in Fargo, ND.


  • 25 November 1975: Four men are indicted by a federal grand jury for their alleged role in the deaths of the two FBI agents. The four are: Leonard Peltier, Bob Robideau, Dino Butler, and Jimmy Eagle (the young man suspected of stealing the pair of cowboy boots whose theft allegedly brought the two FBI agents to the Jumping Bull property the day of the firefight).


  • 6 February 1976: Peltier is arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in western canada. He is held under maximum security at Oakalla Prison in vancouver, British Columbia, while lengthy extradition hearings are held.


  • 10 February 1976: the FBI releases a report stating that it had found a match between the Wichita AR-15 rifle and a .223 rifle shell casing found, belatedly, in the trunk of one of the FBI agents' cars. This totally contradicts their own earlier lab reports, which they kept hidden.


  • 24 February 1976: The ecomposed body of "Jane Doe" is found in a gulley on Pine Ridge. The BIA coroner reports the victim died of exposure to cold. Her hands are cut off and sent to the FBI headquarters in Wasington DC for "positive indentification", while they could easily have taken her fingerprints on the scene.


  • 5 March 1976: "Jane Doe" is identified by the FBI as Anna Mae Aquash, the AIM activist who had refused, despite FBI death threats, to give false testimony against AIM.


  • 11 March 1976: Anna Mae Aquash's family from the Micmac Reservation in Nova Scotia, Canada, has her body exhumed from Pine Ridge burial. A new coroner discovers a "detail" the BIA coroner had unaccountably missed: she had been shot in the back of the head at close range. Her death, shortly before her expected appearance at upcoming trials of Peltier and the others, leaves a mystery being actively explored to this very day.


  • 31 March 1976: Still trying to find convincing evidence of Peltier's guilt so as to gain his extradition from Canada, FBI agents show photographs of Anna Mae's severed hands to a confused Native American woman, Myrtle Poor Bear, telling her both she and her daughter face a similar fate unless she co-operates. Under duress, she signs an affadavit the FBI wrote for her stating that she is peltier's girlfriend - though she had never met him - and also claims she saw him shoot the agents - though, as the FBI knew, she was never there. This affadavit and other fabricated information convince the Canadian courts there is enough evidence to extradite Peltier. He is ordered extradited but his appeals keep him in Canada until December.


  • 7 June - 16 July 1976: Trial of Dino Butler and Bob Robideau in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Allowed to plead innocent by reason of self-defense in firing at the intruding FBI agents, Butler & Robideau win full aqcuittal on murder charges after a tumultuous trial. Dismayed by the results of the Cedar Rapid trial, the FBI and prosecutors drop all charges against Jimmy Eagle so that, as FOIA documents would later reveal, "the full prosecutive weight of the federal government could be directed against Leonard Peltier".


  • 16 December 1976: Peltier is extradited from Canada to the USA on the basis of false testimont fabricate by the FBI. Under massive security, he is flown from Vancouver to Rapid City, SD.


  • 16 March 1977: Trial of Leonard Peltier on double murder charges begins in Fargo, North Dakota. Government panipulations transfer the trial from Cedar Rapids, IA, where Robideau and Butler were acquitted, to a site renowned for anti-Indian sentiment. Juge Benson rules all evidence must be thightly limited to events of the day of the shootout: June 26, 1975. No mention is allowed of the Reign of Terror preceding the shootout at Pine Ridge, nor of Myrtle Poor Bear's false affadavits; nor of the FBI intimidation and coercion of witnesses, nor of most of the evidence that had led to the acquittal by reason of self-defense of Robideau & Butler. The judge declares: "The FBI is not on trial here". Peltier is not permitted to claim "self-defense". In a shocking and flagrant display of American INjustice, virtually all exculpatory evidence is hidde from the defense or ruled inadmissable.


  • 18 April 1977: Under an extraordinary kangaroo-court atmosphere of intimidation by the government, an all-white jury, after 8 hours of deliberation, convicts Leonard Peltier of the direct murder of the two FBI agents.


  • 2 June 1977: Peltier is sentenced to two consecutive life terms in federal prison. After a stint at Leavenworth, Kansas, he is sent to Marion Maximum Security Penitentiary in Illinois.


  • 4 July 1978: Peltier is warned by a fellow NA inmate that he will soon be transferred from Marion to Lompoc prison near Santa Barbara, California, where, he is told, he will be the target of an assassination.


  • 5 March 1979: The U.S. Supreme Court refuses to review Peltier's case.


  • 10 April 1979: Peltier is transferred to Lompoc prison, as he had been warned.


  • 20 July 1979: Fearing an imminent assassination attempt, peltier - with fellow NA prisoners Dallas Thundershield and Bobby Garcia - climbs over a perimeter fence and escapes from Lompoc prison. Dallas Thundershield is shot in the back and killed by prison guards. Bobby Garcia is quickly captured, but Peltier escapes and eludes a huge manhunt until he is finally recaptured in a farmer's field five days later. At the subsequent trial for the escape, he is not allowed to use fear of assassination as a defense. Seven years are added to the original double-life sentence.


  • 4 February 1980: Peltier is transferred back to Marion, IL. He now believes the whole Lompoc "assassination" story was a setup to get him to attempt an escape, giving guards an excuse to kill him.


  • 13 December 1980: Bobby Garcia is found dead in a prison facility at Terre Haute Federal Penitentiary, Indiana. Authorities claim he hanged himself. Many are convinced he was murdered.


  • 1 October 1984: Hearing for a new trial beyins in Bismark, ND, before Judge Benson, the same judge who presided at Peltier's Fargo trial.


  • 22 May 1985: Even though the original prosecutor, Lynn Crooks admits the government does NOT know who killed the FBI agents, Judge Benson denies Peltier's appeal for a new trial.


  • June 1985: Peltier is transferred to USP Leavenworth in Kansas.


  • 11 September 1986: Peltier's conviction is affirmed by the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, despite acknowledgement of clear FBI misconduct.


  • 18 April 1991: Senior Judge Gerald Heaney of the 8th Circuit panel that denied Peltier's 1986 appeal, now - having left the Court - writes to the U.S. President that evidence of unlawful misconduct by the FBI and other governmental agencies before, during, and after the Fargo trial persuades him that Leonard Peltier deserves executive clemency.


  • October 1991: Evidentiary hearing for a new trial in Bismark, ND.


  • 30 December 1991: Petition for a new trial denied again by the original judge (Benson) at 1977 Fargo trial.


  • 23 March 1992: Peltier's attorneys file a new appeal with the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.


  • 9 November 1992: Original prosecutor at Fargo trial, Lynn Crooks, admits again before the 8th Circuit Court that the government does NOT know who killed the two agents nor what role Peltier mau have had in the firefight.


  • 7 July 1993: Despite overwhelming exculpatory evidence, the 8th Circuit Court again denies Peltier's appeal and reaffirms his conviction.


  • 21 November 1993: After the U.S. Parole Commission denies appeal for parole, Peltier's appeal attorney and former U.S. Attorney General, Ramsey Clark formally petitions for executive clemenxy from the U.S. president; application is sent to the U.S. Attorney General for review and recommendation, a process normally taking from 3 to 9 months.


  • 15 December 1994: The European Parliament passes a unanimous resolution supporting executive clemency for Peltier.


  • December 1995: Peltier is temporarily transferred to U.S. Medical Center for federal prisoners in Springfield, Missouri, for surgery on his ailing jaw; requires six blood transfusions, nearly dies.


  • 19 March 1996: The U.S. Parole Commission again denies parole, tells Peltier to reapply in the year 2008!


  • April 1997: The Belgian Parliament passes a unanimous resolution in support of Peltier; asking the U.S. Congress to start hearings into the FBI misconduct in this particular case.


  • 4 May 1998: At an interim parole hearng the U.S. Parole Commission reaffirms its denial of parole; again tells Peltier to reapply in 2008.


  • 21 November 1998: Five years after the petition was made, Peltier's request for executive clemency remains mired in the U.S. Attorney General's office.


  • 11 February 1999: The European Parliament passes a second inanimous resolution in favor of executive clemency.


  • 20 January 2000: Canada's largest native group joined its American counterpart in Leavenworth prison to visit Leonard Peltier. The Assembly of First Nations and the National Congress of American Indians hope their combined weight - more than three million people ) will increase pressure for Peltier's release.


  • 18 February 2000: Nobel Peace Prize laureate and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Rigoberta Menchu Tum, along with Amnesty International meet Leonard Peltier in prison.


  • 20 March 2000: Peltier is suddenly transferred to the Rochester Medical Center, Minnesota, for another jaw surgery.


  • 22 March 2000: Dr. Keller at the Mayo Clinic, MN, reports that x-rays of Peltier's jaw wee taken. The x-rays showed that Leonard has ankylosis on both sides of hiw jaw, meaning that his jaw is totally frozen. Dr. Keller performs a five-hour surgery on Peltier, and returns his jaw to a complete working condition. Peltier receives proper medical treatment at long last. On the other hand, he has been tortured for four years from a condition that could have been fixed in five hours. Prison officials had been saying for over a year that his condition did not warrant x-rays, a second opinion, or any treatment at all. Proof, once again, that vindictiveness has replaced Leonard Peltier's human and constitutiona rights by government officials and they feel completely comfortable lying to the public, Congress, and even the United Nations. However, it also shows that enough pressure from concerned individuals and human rights groups can have a positive effect.


  • 12 June 2000: Another parole review hearing is scheduled at USP Leavenworth. Again, parole is denied. His next parole hearing is in 2008, but officials must review the case every two years to determine whether a change in the sentence is warranted.


  • July 2000: The Belgian Parliament passes its second unanimous resolution in support of Peltier and again asks the U.S. Congress to start hearings into the FBI misconduct in this particular case.


  • 10 July 2000: The Democratic Party of Washington passes a unanimous resolution in support of executive clemency for Peltier.


  • 19 July 2000: One of Peltier attorneys, Jennifer Harbury files an Ethics Complaint withe the U.S. Justice Department asking for an officia investigation of FBI misconduct starting to the Pine Ridge Reign of Terror and finishing with the FBI's current campaign of disinformation against Peltier.


  • 1 August 2000: The Democratic Party of California passes a unanimous resolution in support of executive clemency for Peltier. The resolution, introduced by the Marin Progressive Democrats, passes with overwhelming support, including the entire 550 California Democratic delegates to the National Democratic Convention.


  • November 2000: The FBI Agents Association and the Society of Former FBI Agents organize a telephone campaign to the White House in an attempt to discourage a grant of executive clemency for Peltier. Combined, the two organizations have membership in the tens of thousands. They purchase a toll free number for their membership to utilize when calling the White House.


  • November/December 2000: The White House declines comment on all questions about possible presidential pardons. In late November, President Bill Clinton announces he will review pending requests for executive clemency before he leaves office in January 2001; including that of Peltier. FBI Director Louis Freeh recommends that President Clinton denies the request for clemency. Freeh tells Clinton such an act would "signal disrespect" for law enforcement.


  • 15 December 2000: Nearly 500 current and retired FBI agents march to the White House in an unprecedented protest, opposing any presidential clemency for Leonard Peltier. Carryng a "Never Forget" banner lettered in red, a line of women stand 2-by-2 for the march to the White House gate with a petition to President Clinton signed by 8,000 current and former agents. This FBI protest is totally inappropriate, and it is a sad day for democracy when armed forces march through the streets to influence a decision for mercy and justice by a civilian president.


  • 20 January 2001: The last gesture of Bill Clinton as president is to pardon something like 176 people who had been convicted, were under indictment, or otherwise in trouble with the law. Many are friends or people Clinton is beholden to: his brother, Susan McDougal (who served 18 months for contemt after refusing to answer before a Whitewater Grand Jury whether Clinton had told the truth in his testimony); billionaire financier Marc Rich, exiled in Switzerland, afraid to travel for fear of extradition to the U.S. for record tax fraud and whose citizenship he has renounced, and whose wife Denise was a lavish giver to the Democratic party and Clinton library. Nowhere in the gaggle of pardonees is Leonard Peltier...


  • 2 November 2001: Peltier's Attorney Eric Seitz files a motion which seeks the reduction of Peltier's life sentences from consecutive to concurrent. A reductio would obligate the Parole Commission to grat Leonard's release.


  • 5 December 2001: Almost 26 years after his false extradition from Canada to the United States, Leonard Peltier is honored with the 2001 OFL Human Rights Award from the Ontario Federation of Labour. The province's federatio of trade unions represents about 600,000 of the estimated 2.2 million unionized workers in Canada.


  • 6 February 2002: Peltier begins his 27th year in prison - measured from his arrest in Canada in 1976.


  • 22 March 2002: U.S District Court Judge Magnison, North Dakota, denies Peltier's motion to reduce his sentence without a hearing based upon issues of timeliness. Such a motion is supposed to be filed within a year following a conviction. However, Peltier's attorneys argue that filing at this late date is justified because of significant developments that occurred since trial, citing cases in which exceptions had been made due to extraordinary circumstances. The court says that the significant developments in question (government admission ot can't prove who shot the FBI agents; ballistics) have already been litigated. Judge Magnison refuses to consider these issues depite the clearly different character of the case, which seeks a review of sentence and not a new trial like before. Attorney Eric Seitz promises to appeal the decision to the 8th Circuit Court.


  • late March 2002: The LPDC (Leonard Peltier Defense Committee) tries to obtain new evidence and demands a new trial for Peltier. key evidence exists in the thousands of documents that are still being withheld by the FBI. Attorney Mike Kuzma pursues the documents through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) process. He is also working with law students involved in the Innocence Project of Osgoode Hall and the LPDC of Canada to obtain documents generated around the extradition.


  • 4 April 2002: Former FBI director Louis Freeh is named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by Peltier's attorneys. Freeh, along with the FBI Agents Association and a long list of active FBI agents, are accused of violating Peltier's constitutional rights by making false and sunsupported statement to the public, the Department of Justice, the U.S. Parole Commission, and former President Clinton. The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington DC, alleges that the FBI " engaged in a systematic, and officially sanctioned campaign of mis-information and dis-information" designed to prevent Peltier from receiving fair clemency and parole reviews.


  • May 2002: For over a year now, Leonard has been quietly enduring a bone spur in his heel. He has sought treatment for this painful condition, yet none of the remedies offered by the federal US Bureau of Prisons have worked. His condition is worsened by poor-quality footwear and by stressing the foot. He received two cortisone shots which had no effect. He is forced to work at the Unicor furniture factory, the federal prison labor operation, where he must stand on his feet all day, which causes severe pain. When he asked for transfer to a position that did not cause him pain, he was told that he would stay where he was for six more years. The prison clinician has recommended a simple surgical procedure to correct the bone spur, but the Bureau of Prisons medical facility in Springfield, Missouri has denied the request, and the Leavenworth warden has denied a request for treatment at a Kansas City hospital.


  • June 2002: The FBI releases eleven boxes of documents from their headquarters in Washington, DC. The +30,000 documents are first released to the office of US Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA), who wrote to the FBI regarding the documents after he received hundreds of letters from constituents on the issue. In the coming months, these documents will be digitized with a high- tech scanner which will allow thorough searching, indexing and cross-referencing. The documents will be analyzed by a team of experts including attorneys Bruce Ellison, Jennifer Harbury, among others. While these documents represent the extent of what the FBI claims it had in their headquarters, there are still many more documents in the 56 field offices. The Minneapolis field office reports 42,000 pages in Peltier's file, and an FBI agent assigned to FOIA issues in Washington says the volume may near 100,000 pages. The goal is to vigorously pursue full declassification of all the remaining FBI documents.


  • 9 July 2002: Leonard Peltier has an interim parole hearing. An interim parole hearing is different from a regular parole hearing. Its purpose is to review the Parole Commission's original decision to deny parole to see if any new developments warrant a change. The Commission can do one of three things: affirm the original decision to deny parole and leave the next full hearing date (2008) in place (the most common scenario); accelerate or postpone the next full hearing date; or grant parole (the rarest scenario). And as was feared: again parole is denied. The next full hearing is in six years from now.


  • 9 September 2002: Alvina Showers - Leonard's mother - passes away in the early morning in Oregon. Leonard Peltier is not allowed to attend the funeral.


  • 10 September 2002: Attorneys Michael Kuzma and Barry Bachrach file FOIA requests with several FBI field offices. The FBI's lead FOIA agent says the documents may number close to 100,000 pages, and their release may take years. FBI field offices have said that the scope of the inquiries outstrips their capacity to process the documents, referring the requests to FBI headquarters. A FOIA lawsuit challenging this stalling tactic and demanding that the FBI follow the law is prepared.


  • 12 September 2002: Leonard Peltier "celebrates" his 58th birthday; he's in prison since age 31.


  • 12 December 2002: the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit denies Leonard's appeal to reduce the unjust sentences imposed upon him. In doing so, the court avoided addressing the merits of the case, to which it would have had no answer, and rested its decision on jurisdictional grounds, ruling that Leonard's motion to reduce his unjust sentence was too late. In the meantime, there is still an appeal pending before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals which addresses the Parole Commission's refusal to consider Leonard for parole until 2008.


  • December 2002: The Cambridge Democratic City Committee, Massachusetts, passes a resolution in support of freedom for Peltier.


  • 9 January 2003: KOLA presents the International Forum of VIPs for Peltier to U.S. President George W. Bush and Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee via U.S. embassies in Brussels, London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Paris.


  • 11 January 2003: KOLA presents the International Forum of VIPs for Peltier to the international media during a press conference in Brussels.


  • 6 February 2003: Leonard will start his 28th year in prison...


  • February 2003: The Green-Rainbow Party of Massachusettes passes a resolution in support of freedom for Peltier, and calls for the release of up to 100,000 related documents held in FBI field offices, as well as for congressional investigations into FBI misconduct in this case.


  • 7 May, 2003: the U.S. Justice Department, Office of the Pardon Attorney acknowledges receipt of the +220 letters signed by KOLA's International Forum of VIPs. The Justice Dept. writes Peltier's clemency request is still pending and that the VIP letters are added to his file as "supporting evidence".


  • 14 July 2003: Leonard's Denver appeal has finally been scheduled. Peltier attorneys are pursuing an appeal to the United States 10th Circuit Court of Appeals of the recent denial of Leonard Peltier's 1999 Habeas Corpus petition. Leonard seeks to overturn the U.S. Parole Commission's refusal to even consider him for parole until December 2008. The normal Parole Commission guideline for prisoners convicted of homicide offenses is 200+ months served. This means that Leonard should have been released from prison over one decade ago. The Commission, however, has repeatedly refused to consider setting a parole date until 2008 - when Leonard will have served almost double the normal time. Oral arguments will be heard on September 19, 2003, in the 10th Circuit of Appeals, Denver, Colorado.


  • 15 August 2003: The FBI is ordered to begin releasing all remaining withheld documents from its field offices by December 2004.


  • 12 September 2003: Leonard Peltier's 59th birthday; for the 28th time behind prison walls...


  • 19 September 2003: Peltier's attorneys tell the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Colorado that the government is denying him a parole hearing on the unproven claim that he ambushed two FBI agents before allegedly gunning them down 28 years ago. Peltier, now 59 years old, has been in prison twice as long as required by federal guidelines if no hearing is held until 2008 as decreed by the U.S. Parole Commission. The three-judge panel is taking the case under advisement. Judge Stephen Anderson questioned the reasons for delaying a parole hearing. "Isn't it troubling that the [parole] commission relied on unestablished facts?" Anderson asked. However, Anderson also asked Peltier's attorney Barry Bachrach what he would do if a hearing is held and parole is denied. The judge speculated the attorneys might then use other strategies to win parole for Peltier. After the hearing, more than 200 supporters rallied outside the courthouse, singing and beating drums. Many carried American Indian Movement banners and "Free Peltier" signs.


  • 4 November 2003: The federal appeals court in Denver anounces its decision and refuses to grant a parole hearing to Leonard Peltier. Peltier's attorney Barry Bachrach says their options in responding to this ruling include asking the full appeals court to consider the issue or taking the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Leonard Peltier has now done more than 10 years over the time that he was eligible for parole.


  • February 2004: A American university professor and a Member of the European Parliament officially nominate Leonard Peltier for the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.


  • 6 February 2004: Leonard Peltier starts his 28th year in prison...


  • 19 April 2004: In yet another outrageous decision by the courts, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to grant certiorari to review the 10th Circuit's denial of Peltier's request to be considered for parole. The U.S. Supreme court did so in the face of the 10th Circuit's recognition that the government indisputably engaged in misconduct in the prosecution of Leonard. This is another pitiful failure of the U.S. justice system to correct undisputed government wrongs.


  • 1 August 2004: The California Peace and Freedom Party announces they will not be supporting Ralph Nader for president. The group of 80,000 instead nominates Leonard Peltier at its convention.


  • 2 September 2004: In a major law suit filed in Leonard Peltier and another federal prisoner claim that United States Department of Justice officials knowingly violated the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 (& its amendments) and illegally extended their prison terms for over a decade. The defendants named in the law suit include the U.S. Parole Commission and individuals who have served on the Commission during the past two decades; Attorney General John Ashcroft and former Attorneys General Edwin Meese, Richard Thornburgh, William Barr, and Janet Reno; and the current Director of the Bureau of Prisons, Harley Lappin, as well as former directors J. Michael Quinlan and Kathleen Hawk Sawyer. The Sentencing Reform Act (SRA) was passed to address what Congress thought were inconsistent sentences imposed by different judges on different individuals convicted of the same crimes, as well as arbitrary parole decisions. A new system - one of determinate sentences - was born and the Parole Commission was abolished. At the heart of the suit is the refusal of the government to enforce Title II, Chapter II, Section 235(b)(3) of the SRA. Effective on October 12, 1984, this part of the law ordered that parole dates "consistent with the applicable parole guideline" be issued to all "old system" prisoners within the following five-year period, at the end of which time (on October 11, 1989) the commission would cease to exist. On December 7, 1987, Congress enacted Public Law 100-182 which amended the SRA; repealed, in Section 2, the release criteria established by the original section 235(b)(3); and restored the release criteria under 18 U.S.C. 4206. This amendment did not restore the Parole Commission or remove its obligation to establish mandatory release dates, with sufficient time for appeal, by October 11, 1989. These changes to the law also applied only to crimes committed after the law was amended on December 7, 1987. The amendment simply did not apply to the plaintiffs or to the some 6,000 other "old system" prisoners still held by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons today. After it had technically ceased to exist, the Parole Commission claimed it needed more time to complete its work. Congress inexplicably granted a number of after-the-fact extensions, the first in 1990 and the latest in 2002. The suit claims these extensions were legally invalid and therefore inapplicable because, at the time they were made, the Parole Commission had already been abolished. Had the Parole Commission followed the congressional mandate, Leonard Peltier would have been released over 12 years ago. Lacking in any statutory authority, the U.S. Parole Commission in fact illegally extended the terms of his imprisonment. The failure of the Parole Commission to give release dates to Peltier violated the ex post facto, Bill of Attainder, and Due Process clauses of the U.S. Constitution. Leonard Peltier has demanded a permanent injunction preventing further misapplication of the SRA and its amendments by the government; enforcement of the rights created by the original section 235(b)(3); and, due to irreparable injuries, compensatory and punitive damages as determined by a jury.


  • 12 September 2004: Leonard Peltier turns 60 years old.


  • September 2004: During the New York fashion week, the American designers Marc Jacobs and Anna Sui both print the slogan "Leonard Peltier is Innocent" on their respective show programs. This does not go unnoticed. Both the New York Times and the glossy fashion magazine Women's Wear Daily write about it.


  • October 2004: During the Paris, France fashion week, the British designer Vivienne Westwood and French designer Christian Lacroix both print the slogan "Leonard Peltier is Innocent" on their respective show programs.


  • 12 October 2004: The 137 new International Peltier Forum letters signed by celebrities in 2003-2004 are sent to the White House by diplomatic mail through the U.S. Embassy in Belgium. The letters include the one signed by former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachov.


  • 15 December 2004: The attorneys for Leonard Peltier file a Motion to Correct an Illegal Sentence in the U.S. District Court in Fargo, North Dakota. Peltier has been illegally imprisoned for nearly 30 years. The federal jurisdiction conferred by the statutes under which he was convicted and sentenced depended on the location of the alleged crime, not against whom the crime was allegedly committed. The statutes required that the acts in question take place "within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States". Because the acts occurred on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, which is neither within the special maritime or territorial jurisdiction of the United States (the Oglala Sioux Nation of Pine Ridge is a sovereign nation!), Leonard Peltier was convicted and sentenced for crimes over which the U.S. District Court had no jurisdiction. Not only did the court not have jurisdiction in the Peltier case, but the trial judge inflicted punishment – two consecutive life terms – that the jury’s verdict alone did not allow. The jury did not find all the facts ‘which the law makes essential to the punishment’. According to the Supreme Court, the judge exceeded his proper authority. Peltier is calling on the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure in effect at the time of his sentencing, that provided that the Court could correct an illegal sentence at any time. This rule applies to any offence committed before November 1, 1997. The appellate courts have recognized the undisputed misconduct in Peltier’s case – fabricated and suppressed evidence, as well as coerced testimony – yet have refused to take corrective action for nearly three decades. This is clearly an abuse of the legal standards of American justice.


  • 30 December 2004: The FBI was ordered on August 15, 2003, to begin releasing documents by December 2004. On December 30, 2004, the FBI produces 5,112 pages of material. However, the pages released consist of Mr. Peltier's 1977 trial transcript, as well as the Robideau-Butler trial transcript. Incredibly, the FBI withheld 144 pages from these transcripts - documents that are already a matter of public record - on the basis that they were exempt from disclosure. Peltier's attorneys send a letter to the judge who issued the above Order, to ask her to reconsider her August 2003 decision. We know that the FBI has 142,579 pages of material that have never been made available to Leonard's legal team. The FBI Minneapolis Field Office alone has 90,000 pages. The data maintained by this Field Office are particularly important because this was the office in which the RESMURS investigation was based. Incredibly, the judge denied the request, disagreeing that the FBI has made a bad faith response to her Order. Perhaps she believes the legal team has waited nearly 30 years only to receive Peltier's trial transcript?


  • 6 February 2005: Leonard Peltier starts his 29th year in prison...


  • February 2005: During the New York fashion week, the American designers Anna Sui and Narciso Rodriguez (re-)print the slogan "Leonard Peltier is Innocent" on their respective show programs.


  • 16 February 2005: The Oglala Commemoration Committee and the Lakota Student Alliance introduce the Leonard Peltier Honorary Scholarship for incoming freshmen at the Oglala Lakota College on the Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota. This scholarship will be awarded to one student each year who has finished his/her General Equivalency Diploma (GED) in good standing and plans to attend Oglala Lakota College (OLC) to further his/her education. The Award, in the amount of $250, is created in the name of Leonard Peltier. Only GED Graduates at Oglala Lakota College shall be eligible to receive this scholarship. The applicant (GED Graduate) must submit an application and essay to be considered by the Oglala Lakota College Scholarship Committee. The Oglala Lakota College Scholarship Committee is authorized to select the award recipient each year. The Oglala Commemoration Committee will announce the Leonard Peltier Honorary Scholarship recipient following the annual Oglala Commemoration Event held each year in Oglala on June 26th. The Lakota Student Alliance and Oglala Commemoration Committee jointly sponsor the Scholarship to honor and remember the lives lost during the 1970's civil conflict on the reservation and to also raise awareness toward the unjust imprisonment of AIM member Leonard Peltier. Lakota Student Alliance members hope this scholarship will encourage GED graduates to further their education and gain powerful knowledge for the common good of the Lakota Nation. The LSA realizes the tremendous barriers that often lead to painful choices by many Lakota tribal students. The GED graduates of the Oglala Lakota Nation are mostly Single Parents with little income. These parents took the initiative to better themselves for their homes, and their communities.


  • 25 February 2005: the FBI releases an additional 5,167 pages of withheld records from its Minneapolis field office. Peltier's legal team is presently reviewing this information.


  • 1 March 2005: During the Paris, France fashion week, British designer Vivienne Westwood reprints the slogan "Leonard Peltier is Innocent" on her show program; as well as on her advertising campaigns.


  • 3 March 2005: the Peltier attorneys file a Motion to Summarily Proceed on Leonard's Petition for Habeas Corpus and to establish bail. On August 6, 2002, a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus was submitted to the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia. This pending appeal concerns the unconstitutional misapplication of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 (under which prisoners sentenced "under the old system" were to be issued release dates no later than October 1989) by the U.S. Parole Commission. On February 20, 2004, a Reply Brief on the government's Motion to Transfer (to the U.S. District Court in the District of Kansas) was filed. In March, the DC District Court granted the government's Motion to Transfer. There has been no movement on this appeal for over a year.


  • 9 March 2005: a Motion for Expedited Hearing is filed concerning the December 15, 2004,Motion to Correct an Illegal Sentence filed in the U.S. District Court in the District of North Dakota. The Peltier attorneys demand a permanent injunction preventing further misapplication of the SRA and its amendments by the government; enforcement of the rights created by the original section 235(b)(3); and due to irreparable injuries suffered by Peltier, compensatory and punitive damages as determined by a jury. On September 17, stating the claim appeared to be a habeas corpus petition, the court issued an Order to Show Cause why the case shouldn't be transferred to the U.S. District Court of Kansas On October 12, the legal team submitted its response and filed the final complaint. Nevertheless, the court recently ordered the claim transferred to the U.S. District Court of Kansas and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia affirmed the District Court's decision.


  • 15 March 2005: the Peltier legal team files a Petition for a Writ of Mandamus from the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the appellate court's ruling. In a related action, an Emergency Grievance was submitted to the Bureau of Prisons in early March 2005 to address claims of illegal detention resulting in personal injuries and/or irreparable harm. No response from prison authorities within a 48-hour period will result in court action.


  • 21 March 2005: Judge Donovan W. Frank issues an Order & Memorandum regarding the appeal the legal team filed concerning the Magistrate Judge Decision in their Minneapolis FOIA action. The Court set the matter for oral argument.


  • 27 March 2005: The hearing concerning the FOIA action against the FBI's Minneapolis Field Office has been set for April 15, 2005, at 2:00 p.m. CT, at the St. Paul Federal Court House, 316 N. Roberts, St. Paul, Minnesota.


  • 5 April 2005: Leonard's lawyers fail to persuade a federal judge in Buffalo, NY, to release a key document that could lead to a new trial for Peltier. Citing legal provisions that protect identities of FBI personnel and confidential sources, U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny refuses to provide the full text of a 1975 teletype message from the FBI's Buffalo office to then-FBI Director Clarence M. Kelley. A version with parts blacked out had been released last year. Peltier's attorneys contend the message suggests that a New York FBI informant might have been trying to infiltrate Peltier's defense team. The judge didn't deal with the legal team's arguments about COINTELPRO and the FBI's war on the American Indian Movement. He sidestepped that issue, and it's key because Freedom of Information Act exemptions cannot be used to shield illegal or unauthorized investigative tactics. Skretny deferred a final decision on releasing seven of the 15 requested pages; all had been withheld on national security grounds. Mike Kuzma, Peltier's FOIA lawyer, says he will appeal the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York City.


  • 15 April 2005: Peltier's lawyers ask U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank for immediate and unfettered access to 90,000 pages of documents that were wrongly withheld during Peltier's 1977 trial. The thousands of pages compiled by the FBI's Minneapolis field office could contain information about informants and evidence Peltier could use to win his release or a new trial.


  • 26 April 2005: While admonishing the FBI for withholding some documents, U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank in St. Paul, MN, denies the request by Peltier's lawyers for quicker access to information used to convict him of killing two federal agents three decades ago. The Judge says a previously arranged schedule for the release of documents assembled by the Minneapolis FBI office should continue and be completed by December 1st. But he took issue with the FBI's earlier decision to withhold 144 pages of public trial transcripts in the case of Peltier. "Whether this sequestration of pages was the result of the FBI's lack of resources or ineptitude, it is inexcusable and will not be tolerated again by this court," Frank wrote. He wrote that he is "fully prepared to order an expedited release schedule if it is demonstrated, again, that the FBI has not acted in good faith." At the hearing, FBI attorney Preeya Noranha says the agency is working as quickly as possible and plans to turn over a new batch of documents every 60 days.


  • 6 June 2005: Peltier's defense team is granted a hearing to correct his illegal sentencing. The basis for this motion is that the U.S. District Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction under the statutes upon which Mr. Peltier was convicted and sentenced. The statutes in question require that the crime take place "within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States". Since the deaths of the agents occurred on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation which is neither "within the special maritime [or] territorial jurisdiction of the United States", the Peltier defense team is asking the Court to grant Mr. Peltier's motion and vacate the illegal sentences imposed upon him. This hearing is important because Peltier was never charged with crimes over which the United States had jurisdiction. The history of the constitution, and the statutes implicated, unequivocally establish that Leonard Peltier was not convicted under the Indian Crimes Act, which is the only possible authority under which the government could have tried and convicted Peltier. Whereas here, the court had no jurisdiction to convict Peltier under the crimes for which he was convicted, those convictions must be set aside as a matter of law.


  • 15 June 2005: At 2:00 PM the hearing takes place at the Quentin N. Burdick U.S. Courthouse in Fargo, North Dakota. Peltier's defense team argue for his release, saying the federal government did not have the right to try him for crimes that occurred on a South Dakota reservation. "The court had no federal offense before it and it had no federal jurisdiction," attorney Barry Bachrach tells U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson. Leonard Peltier, who has a history of diabetes and recently suffered a stroke, listens by speakerphone from federal prison in Leavenworth,Kansas. He talks briefly after lawyers had finished, complaining that the government continues to change its story about his role in the killings. Bachrach also tells the judge that a recent court ruling on sentencing guidelines shows the court exceeded its authority in handing down two consecutive life terms. A ruling is expected within two months. About 30 people attend a protest rally outside the courthouse before the hearing.


  • 1 July 2005: Leonard Peltier is suddenly moved to USP Terre Haute, in Indiana. The federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) recently decided to convert the maximum-security prison of USP Leavenworth, Kansas, to a medium security prison. The 1,511 prisoners will all be moved to maximum-security prisons such as Terre Haute or Florence, Colorado. At Terre Haute, Leonard Peltier was immediately placed in "the hole". It is basic procedure to keep transferred inmates in the hole while processing takes place, however we do not know how long that will take. While the Terre Haute facility is comparable to Leavenworth – with 7.5-hour work assignments (all prisoners must work); recreation; and other programs – there are some significant differences between the two institutions. Terre Haute has a death row and its prison industry includes work in support of the United States' "War on Terrorism", i.e., production of ammunition for the U.S. military.


  • 22 July 2005: The federal judge in North Dakota rejects the by Leonard Peltier. Peltier's lawyer,Barry Bachrach, said federal laws did not apply to Peltier because the FBI agents Williams and Coler were killed in Indian Country. U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson denies the appeal, saying the government has the right to prosecute people who kill federal agents, no matter where the crimes occur. The appeal was one of several in the 30-year-old case. Leonard himself speaks briefly by speakerphone during the hearing. He complains that the government has changed itsstory about his role in the killings.


  • 15 August 2005: Only one and half month after the transfer from USP Leavenworth, KS to USP Terre Haure, IN, once again Leonard Peltier is transferred to USP Lewisburg in Pennsylvania. Health problems continue to plague Leonard and the conditions he was subjected to in Indiana exacerbated.


  • 23 September 2005: The legal defense team for Leonard Peltier files an appeal to the July 2005 U.S. District Court decision which wrongly endorsed federal jurisdiction over Indian Territory. The appeal seeks to overturn the denial of Peltier's Motion to correct the illegal sentence imposed upon him by the federal courts.

  • 23 January 2006: A Hearing has been scheduled for February 13, 2006 to correct the illegal sentencing that occurred in Leonard Peltier's case. The hearing will take place at 9:00 a.m. at the Thomas F. Eagleton Courthouse, Southeast Courtroom 27th Floor, 111 S. 10th Street in St. Louis, Missouri.


  • 6 February 2006: It is exactly 30 years ago that Leonard Peltier was arrested in Canada...


  • 13 February 2006: In a "Standing Room" only courtroom in St. Louis, Missouri, Mr. Peltier's attorneys argue Leonard's appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, relative to the District Court's denial of the Motion to correct his Illegal Sentence. The Court greets both Peltier's attorneys and the government attorney with many questions concerning the key issues raised. After listening to the parties' arguments, the Court took the case under advisement and a decision will most likely be rendered within the next three months.


  • 23 February 2006: The FBI can keep secret a handful of documents in the case of Leonard Peltier in the interest of national security, U.S. District Judge William Skretny ruled in Buffalo,NY, rejecting efforts by Leonard's legal team for a glimpse at the 30-year-old records. Skretny issued the decision after reviewing some of the pages in private as part of a Freedom of Information request by the attorneys fighting to have Peltier's 1977 conviction overturned. Attorney Michael Kuzma says he plans to appeal Skretny's ruling. "Plaintiff has not established the existence of bad faith or provided any evidence contradicting the FBI's claim that the release of these documents would endanger national security or would impair this country's relationship with a foreign government," the judge wrote in his decision. "The pages we were most intrigued about revolved around a teletype from Buffalo... a three-page document that seems to indicate that a confidential source was being advised by the FBI not to engage in conduct that would compromise attorney-client privilege," Kuzma said.


  • 28 April 2006: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit rules that the U.S. government had the right to prosecute American Indian activist Leonard Peltier for crimes that occurred on a South Dakota reservation. In this latest appeal, Peltier's lawyers argued that federal courts have no jurisdiction over Indian land. In the summer of 2005, U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson ruled that the government has the right to prosecute and imprison anyone who kills federal agents, no matter where the crimes occur. The 8th U.S. Circuit Appeals Court now upholds Erickson's ruling. Barry Bachrach, Peltier's lawyer, says he is disappointed but that he is just going to keep moving forward with the issues to correct this injustice.


  • 17 June 2006: Peltier's legal team files a brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan. In this case, the legal team is seeking the production of FBI documents which the government is withholding on, among other grounds, national security. This is the first of several legal filings that have been prepared to require the FBI to produce the documents it has been withholding for over 30 years. Put simply: the US government would not be fighting so hard to keep these documents secret unless it had something to hide!


  • 31 August 2006: On September 8, 2006 at 9:30 a.m., Barry A. Bachrach, Esq. and Michael Kuzma, Esq. will be arguing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan R. Nelson for the full release of all FBI files maintained by the Minneapolis Field Office relating to Leonard Peltier and RESMURS. The FBI reviewed 77,149 pages and released 66,594 pages in full or in part, however, 10,555 pages were withheld in their entirety. Of utmost significance is that Mr. Peltier seeks release of documents relating to informants, particularly with respect to the extent the FBI paid informants to infiltrate Mr. Peltier's defense team. Mr. Peltier's legal team just discovered evidence establishing that Douglas Durham, who was a confidential source paid by the FBI to infiltrate the highest levels of the American Indian Movement and who was exposed on March 7, 1975, spoke with, and provided information to, William Halprin, the Chief Prosecutor from Canada against Mr. Peltier in connection with the extradition proceedings. Halprin requested Durham's involvement "to enable him to utilize source [Durham] to refute statements made by Peltier's defense." The FBI instructed Durham "to provide information requested by Crown Attorney [and]... If recontacted by Halprin, he would cooperate fully and would keep Omaha advised of developments." Knowing full well the impact such revelations would have on Mr. Peltier's case, the government is fighting vigorously to prevent these documents, that date back over 30 years, from being publicly released. Among other things, the FBI claims that the release of this information would harm national security and reveal the identities of confidential sources. Mr. Peltier's lawyers have argued that these are nothing more than pretexts to prevent the release of further evidence of the continuing violation of Mr. Peltier's constitutional rights and further drives home the fact that Mr. Peltier never received a fair trial.


  • 30 November 2006: On December 7, 2006 at 10:00 a.m., Leonard Peltier's attorney Michael Kuzma will be arguing before a three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit for the full release of all documents maintained by the Buffalo field office of the FBI relating to Leonard Peltier and RESMURS. As a result of this lawsuit, and a similar case brought against the FBI in Minnesota under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), we have learned that the FBI actually possesses 142,579 pages of material pertaining to Leonard Peltier and RESMURS. Although these documents are over 30 years old, the government continues to block release of this information on the basis that disclosure would, among other things, hamper the "war on transnational terrorism" and reveal the identities of confidential sources.


  • 3 January 2007: Barry Bachrach, attorney for Leonard Peltier, files an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. This appeal concerns the unconstitutional application of Section 235( b)(3) of the SRA by the Parole Commission. This enactment made substantial changes by stripping the Parole Commission of any discretion and by establishing a method of determinate sentencing.


  • 3 February through 8 April 2007: the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee and the Smoki Museum in Prescott, Arizona present "Warrior Elder: The Paintings of Leonard Peltier". The Warrior Elder Exhibit and event include a benefit concert featuring reggae artists Casper, Native Roots and Native flute player Travis Terry.


  • 23 February 2007: In two separate decisions rendered this month, US District Judge Donovan W. Frank and a three-judge panel for the US 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals refused to order the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to release thousands of pages of documents relating to Leonard Peltier. Both Judge Frank and the Appeals Court upheld claims by the FBI that release of the sought-after information would, among other things, cause serious damage to the national security of the United States and the war on transnational terrorism. Judge Frank found that any evidence of prior FBI misconduct was "irrelevant". Judge Frank's decision will be appealed to the US 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.


  • 3 April 2007: The Norwegian Nobel Committee confirms that Leonard Peltier has officially been nominated for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. This year 181 candidates have been registered. The name of the Prize recipient for 2007 will be announced in mid-October.


  • 8 June 2007: Ron Kuby and David Pressman, attorneys for Leonard Peltier, filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit an appellate brief asking the Court to review and release some 11,000 pages of documents related to the investigation and prosecution of Leonard Peltier. The FBI continues to withhold those documents, claiming that their release would violate promises of confidentiality made to informants and would, incredibly, endanger the national security of the United States. In their brief, they argue that the FBI's promises to its informants expired long ago, and were waived when those informants testified publicly. Peltier's attorneys also assert that the virtually unprecedented public interest in the case of Leonard Peltier warrants careful judicial review of the withheld documents. In addition, they demonstrate that the FBI's historic misconduct in this case, coupled with its continued misrepresentations about Peltier's case, shows sufficient bad faith to require the most searching inquiry into any claims of privilege.


  • 9 October 2007: the Leonard Peltier legal team, Ron Kuby and David Pressman filed a reply brief with the United States Courts of Appeals for the Eight Circuit. Defendant-Appellee ("the Government") continues to categorically insist that there is no degree of governmental misconduct toward a FOIA litigant that could cause a court to "question the good faith of the agency," Cox v Department of Justice, 576 F2d 1302, 1312( 8 Cir.1978) unless the litigant can prove misconduct in the FOIA proceedings themselves. The Government's assertion that it can wave away its sordid history of proven FBI and prosecutorial misconduct toward Peltier with a "what have we done to you lately" nonchalance rests entirely on the Government's own insistence. More significantly, the Government conflates Peltier's lengthy, documented, proven history of the most serious governmental misconduct with some fanciful, gauzy grievance made by some hypothetical litigant. The Government again demonstrates that it does not now, nor has it ever, taken seriously any of the courts that have admonished it about the treatment of Leonard Peltier. It has been proven that the FBI withheld exculpatory evidence, manufactured inculpatory evidence that it knew to be false, coerced witnesses and engaged in an over reaction to Wounded Knee sufficiently grave to cause a Senior Judge of this Court to opine that the Government shares responsibility for the firefight that led to the death of the two FBI agents. The Government has shown no solicitude for the enormous "burden on the judiciary" that its own malfeasance has caused.


  • 12 February 2008: A hearing regarding the release of the documents the FBI is still withholding, is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, March 11th, 2008, beginning at 9:00 a.m. before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit. Court will be held at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in the Frey Moot Courtroom at 1000 LaSalle Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota.


  • 11 March 2008: Oral arguments before a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Minneapolis, Minnesota, deals with Peltier's attempt to get the FBI to release thousands of pages of documents about him that it has withheld. Judge Lavenski R. Smith asks Peltier’s attorney, Michael Kuzma what the remedy would be for Peltier. Kuzma says the court should conduct "a full in-camera review of the documents". When Smith expresses some disbelief at that idea, Kuzma adds that, if that were too burdensome, the court could focus on the documents from 1977, of which Peltier has received none. Tom Byron, attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington D.C., argues that "there's no support" for an in-camera inspection of the records. The agency has said it properly withheld documents based on exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act. Those include documents kept secret for national security reasons and information that would reveal funds spent on undercover operations. He also says there was no evidence the U.S. District Court abused its discretion in ruling that the FBI could withhold certain documents. Kuzma says the documents compiled by the FBI's Minneapolis field office could contain information about FBI informants who were privy to attorney-client conversations involving Peltier, and who could have turned around and reported valuable information to the FBI. Peltier has filed similar lawsuits elsewhere in the country.


  • 12 January 2009: Leonard Peltier is transferred to a high-security federal prison in Canaan, Pennsylvania, northeast of his former facility in Lewisburg. Prison authorities have assured us that he will retain his phone and painting privileges and access to his diabetes medication.


  • 13 January 2009: Leonard Peltier is brutally beaten by two other inmates while arriving in general population at USP Canaan. Leonard is placed in solitary confinement, alledgedly for his "protection".


  • 19 January 2009: President George W. Bush formally denies Leonard Peltier's request for executive clemency.


  • 20 January 2009: Inauguration of President Barack Obama. Leonard Peltier's supporters immediately start a campaign to ask the new president to grant clemency.


  • 25 January 2009: All week long, Leonard Peltier has not had a medical examination after the beating, nor was he allowed a visit from his lawyers. On January 25th, finally one of his attorneys, Sheila Dugan is allowed to visit Leonard.


  • 30 January 2009: Leonard Peltier is transferred back to USP Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. He is back in general population.


  • 6 February 2009: Peltier suporters from all across the world jam the White House comments line all day, demanding that President Barack Obama grants executive clemency. Today marks the 33th anniversary of Mr. Peltier's arrest in Canada.


  • 17 February 2009: Robert Robideau passes away at his home in Barcelona, Spain.




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