Peltier sits in his cell at USP Coleman and counts the days. Well probably, counting the hours, minutes and maybe even the seconds until the end of the day of the first Tuesday in November.
Peltier knows that a pardon, clemency, parole, the Cares or First Step Acts are off the table. As long as there is a Trump administration an unrepentant convicted double-murderer will not see the light of day. Peltier will continue to serve the remainder of his consecutive life sentences along with the seven additional consecutive years for an armed escape from Lompoc penitentiary.
The unprovoked attack (there was an eyewitness*)and brutal slaughter of two already wounded and defenseless human beings does not place Peltier in the sympathetic category deserving of forgiveness or compassion. Among many other facts, there are a few critical points in Peltier’s long appellate history that need to be noted.**
Peltier likely prays daily to his Creator that candidates Biden and Harris will be elected. Peltier may have visions of another day, February 6, 2021 marking his forty-fifth year of incarceration and may imagine being freed on that arguably significant date. With a change of administration the possibility of a free Peltier is stronger now than ever before, notwithstanding the fact that even President Obama denied clemency. Peltier may hope to leave Coleman to waiting throngs of supporters welcoming him with drums, chants and open arms. Well, he can dream anyway.
After forty-five years in prison is that enough for his crimes? We believe not.
On September 12thPeltier will be seventy-six. Should he be relocated closer to his native territory? Perhaps, but that is up to the Bureau of Prisons.
Whatever the outcome of November 3rd, Peltier will continue, whether in or out of Coleman, the fabrications he has honed over the past decades, ignoring the facts, offering unfounded scenarios of what happened on June 26, 1975 and continuing to peddle the same tired myth and folklore. Although Peltier has made it clear that he does not consider himself an American citizen, he would certainly covet the Constitutional benefit of a pardon.
If, by chance, Peltier is free in 2021, there are two issues that will not end.
Peltier’s fund raising through alleged and largely undocumented philanthropic activates has remained a dark secret. Peltier has forgone any pretense of financial clarity or openness, which was even demanded by his own support committee and surely noticed by the I.R.S. But those efforts may morph into different forums like stumping for speaking fees to continue spreading skewed versions of the facts and the incoherent premise of being an alleged political prisoner. Peltier making money from the vicious murder of two human beings is abhorrent and unacceptable.
Peltier profiting from the brutal slaying of FBI Agents’ Coler and Williams will be monitored and any lies and fabrications challenged in the public forum. Peltier, a public figure, will still be held to task for any misstatements of the truth.
However, if Peltier returns to the Turtle Mountain Reservation and lives his remaining years in quiet solitude with family and friends, then so be it.
If that is the final outcome, we will nevertheless continue to honor the memory and sacrifice in the line-of-duty of Special Agents Jack R. Cole and Ronald A. Williams.
May they rest in peace.
“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”
* Agent Williams was overheard on the FBI radio describing exactly what was happening, an unprovoked attack. Those listening heard Ron as he was shot.
There is a recent podcast series touting Peltier as the “longest serving political prisoner." The narrator, while well intentioned, blindly repeats the same scripted, tired and disproven Peltier rhetoric, the same decades-long myth and folklore. All the issues raised by the podcast have been addressed and resolved and provable if they took the time to understand and explore Peltier’s lengthy appellate history. Repeating old allegations serves no purpose and does nothing to support the notion of Peltier’s feigned innocence. As to the matter of being a political prisoner, the narrator fails to understand a simple premise: If Peltier is really a political prisoner it would strongly suggest that June 26, 1975 was not a random over-reaction by Peltier and other AIM members, but that FBI Agents’ Coler and Williams were lured onto Jumping Bull to be assassinated. But that is simply not the case.