Peltier is still complaining that USP Coleman is under lock down. This is a result of gang violence and a murder and injuries at the facility. Peltier, who is in the “elder unit,” wants supporters to write the warden to end what he describes as “isolation.” Notwithstanding Peltier’s complaint, the Warden has the responsibility to ensure the facility is secure.
For some time Peltier has sought a compassionate release because of his age, predictable health issues and years of incarceration. At seventy-five he is getting long in the tooth, but so will everyone at some point. Of course, Jack Coler and Ron Williams, thanks to Peltier, were never able to grow old with their families.
Peltier may be somewhat optimistic since in 2018 President Trump signed the First Step Act (FSA) that has resulted in the release of over 3000 inmates and the reduction of nearly 2000 federal prison sentences. But reviewing the intent of the FSA tells a slightly different story. FSA was intended to address the period of “get tough on crime” and the effects of “three strikes you’re out” (signed by President Clinton in 1994; which he later stated he regretted) that led to stiff sentences for relatively minor offenses and the effect of racial disparities involving non-violent drug offenders.
FSA also adjusted the time-off-for-good-behavior provision from 47 to 54 days per year. But according to the Date of Release described in Title 18 U.S.C. § 3624(b) an inmate may be released by the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) on the date of the expiration of the inmate’s term of imprisonment, less any time credited toward the service of the inmate’s sentence as provided in Subsection B. However, Subsection B, “Credit Toward Service of Sentence for Satisfactory Behavior” is clear that this applies to an inmate who is serving a term of more than one (1) year, “other than a term of imprisonment for the duration of the prisoner’s life.”
The FSA does not apply to Peltier; he must continue to serve consecutive life sentences and the consecutive seven years for the armed escape from Lompoc Penitentiary.
Another provision of FSA allows the BOP to house prisoners no more than 500 miles from their home area. Peltier and his “Committee” shouldn’t forget that there may be a reason why Peltier is confined around 2000 miles from his native Reservation. While incarcerated at USP Lewisburg there was an incident that landed Peltier in solitary confinement for six months and a subsequent transfer to USP Coleman. It is not known whether Peltier’s subsequent transfer to Florida had anything to do with this incident, but in any case it was the BOP’s decision. (Footnote 1)
On 11/8/19 Peltier’s “Committee” announced that “The National Congress of American Indians at its 2019 National Conference pass (sic) the following resolution and recommitted their efforts to work for Leonard’s Freedom!” However, the problem is that the link to the resolution was to one passed in 2011! That 2011 resolution, as official as it may have sounded, was nothing more than Peltier tripe and regurgitated folklore and myth. We would expect the 2019 resolution, if there is one, would be the same.
The “Committee” also announced an exhibit and sale of his prison art, the proceeds of which will go to Leonard’s Legal Fund.
This raises a couple of issues:
How does Peltier get away with what certainly appears, (and there have been public statements from the “Committee” regarding this issue), with running an illegal business from prison? This is an issue that has been ongoing for quite some time. (Fn. 2)
Does Peltier charge sales tax on the paintings? Peltier has never divulged how much he has taken in, or more importantly where it actually goes, supporters should ask that question and demand answers.
There is also the lingering question of “tax-deducible” donations that comes and goes like a ghost in the night. One day they are bragging about it, the next day it’s gone. After all the fuss about becoming a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization why is it that neither the Art Sale nor the current Peltier website (soliciting for donations) doesn’t proclaim the “tax deductible” mantra? This remains more than curious as over the years Peltier has bragged about all manner of charitable and philanthropic activities, and not to mention claims of widespread Native American support. Both of which are fatally flawed. (Fn. 3)
Several months ago the “Committee” announced that an attorney was soon to submit a motion that would bring Peltier’s case back into court. However, there has been no follow up announcements. Reality check! The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals stated, “Peltier was equally well represented at trial and on appeal.”(Fn. 4)
Over the years Peltier’s case has received intense scrutiny by many very capable attorneys, and some not so, and his conviction and sentence has never been altered. Peltier’s “Legal Fund” is nothing more than a red herring. (Fn. 5)
“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”
1) Peltier Shot in Prison: http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2011/08/peltier-shot-in-prisonbruce-smith.html
2) Excerpt, Editorial Essay #24, 2004:Peltier's activities are no doubt apparent to the administration at Leavenworth. Peltier has been involved - while perhaps claiming some undeserved special status, as the focal point of an illegal prison business.
Bob Free, who resigned from the LPDC, was engaged in an ongoing conflict with another LPDC official, Cathy McCarthy. During a heated exchange Bob Free had this to say:
"4) It is very troubling that she is suggesting that Leonard himself is directing a Non Profit organization while still incarcerated. This is potentially a legal problem for Leonard and the LPDC."
And Bob Free was correct, but without belaboring the issue, he was also completely wrong about any such claim to a "non-profit" status. Bob Free and the NPPA recognized it, even if apparently Cathy McCarthy did not; Peltier's activities are illegal on a number of counts.
This is not an isolated incident; Leonard Peltier understands this problem as evident in an exchange from an individual selling Peltier's artwork on the Internet:
Date: Sun, 8 Feb 2004, 16:56:07 EST
Subject: hello from art-a-mour.com
Date: Sun, 8 Feb 2004, 16:56:07 EST
Subject: hello from art-a-mour.com
just to let you know if you would be interested in helping sell Leonard Peltier's prints please contact me you will be able to buy them at wholesale prices The proceeds to go to the LPDC as he cant run business from prison. This is what he has asked me to do.
Peltier, even as an inmate is required to file personal income tax if he has any income. It would be interesting to see, considering all the money raised by Peltier selling his artwork and receiving donations from unsuspecting supporters, whether he has made the required IRS filings. It would be perfectly appropriate for Peltier to make that information available to his supporters.
3) Claims of Native American Support: http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2019/09/peltier-native-american-support.html
Peltier donations: http://www.noparolepeltier.com/debate.html#fraud
“Fatally flawed” is a term used against Peltier by the 8thCircuit Court of Appeals:
4) 8th Circuit Decision, 9/14/78, see footnote #5: http://www.noparolepeltier.com/585.html
5) Bruce “I’ll take the Fifth” Ellison;
Eric Seitz, Excerpt from 2009 Editorial Essay #49: Seitz also said that he presented "some additional evidence on Leonard's behalf to the (Parole) board." Evidence? Hardly. Seitz also claimed "…they (the FBI and government) don't have any creativity, they don't come up with anything new. They don't have any greater ability to explain their justification for their position. It's a very wooden position, kill an FBI agent and live the rest of your life in prison. I don't think that's going to impress very many people who aren't already of the same opinion."
First, and we can overlook that he may have misspoke-it was two agents murdered, not one, but that aside, the government doesn't have to come up with anything "new" and to even suggest as much shows a fundamental lack of insight or professionalism on Mr. Seitz's behalf. All anyone has to do is spend a little time to see just how wrong Mr. Seitz and Peltier really are. This case has been under the proverbial microscope for thirty-four years and every aspect has been reviewed, more than once, and Peltier's attorney's with their oftentimes frivolous legal arguments have lost not because of some grand conspiracy, but because the facts are not supportive of any of Peltier's claims of innocence. And yes, brutally murdering two wounded FBI agents' does warrant spending the rest of one's life in prison.