Friday, November 19, 2021

PELTIER: HUFFINGTON POST & CLEMENCY, November 12., 2021

Subject: Jennifer Bendery re Leonard Peltier

 

This is to provide a brief response to Jennifer Bendery’s Huffpost article regarding clemency, actually commutation, for convicted murderer Leonard Peltier.

 

If there were any, or even just one, “Constitutional violation” in Peltier’s conviction we would not be having any conversations today. The matter would have been settled long ago. The fact remains that every single allegation Peltier has raised over the years, both legal and frivolous, have been addressed before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, and to the U.S. Supreme Court, which twice denied certiorari. Taking the time to review and understand Peltier’s lengthy appellate history clearly establishes this fact.

 

The direct and circumstantial evidence of Peltier’s guilt was strong…” “…Peltier’s contention of manufactured evidence are far from convincing.” (Direct Appeal, 8th Circuit, 9/14/78)

 

Stating that the “Prosecutors hid key evidence,” and that “They withheld ballistic evidence that proved it wasn’t Leonard’s weapon…” is simply factually untrue. A three-day evidentiary (ballistics) hearing in 1985 and another appeal to the Eighth Circuit clearly proved otherwise: “When all is said and done, however, a few simple but very important facts remain. The casing introduced into evidence had in fact been extracted from the Wichita AR-15 (Peltier’s weapon). That point was not disputed; although the defense had its own ballistics expert, it offered no contrary evidence.’’ (8th Circuit, 9/11/86)

 

The claim that President Clinton did not free Peltier because of some imagined FBI pressure is erroneous and remains imbedded in Peltier’s longstanding folklore. The real reason is much simpler and a few people know why. 

 

Relying on former U.S. Attorney, James Reynolds’s representations concerning Peltier’s conviction are grossly erroneous. Reynolds makes claims to authority and knowledge over the Peltier case that simply collapse under even the slightest scrutiny. It remains bewildering that Reynolds makes these assertions: 

http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2017/01/peltier-reynolds-false-claims.html

http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2017/12/james-reynolds-part-ii-letters-public.html

http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2018/01/peltier-james-reynolds-part-iii-dancing.html

 

Was Peltier’s trial perfect? No, criminal trials rarely are, but the important question is whether he received a fair trial. “I believe he got a fair trial, not a perfect trial, but a fair trial.” (8th Circuit Court Judge Gerald Heaney who ruled against Peltier based on the law but nonetheless later wrote letters of support that Peltier and his committee heavily relied upon for many years.)

http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2017/01/peltier-judge-heaney-redux.html


A true journalist, even one operating as an advocate, would be remise in not asking about his only real alibi. If Peltier is innocent as he claims, why did he assert for nearly two decades that someone else, the phantom Mr. X, killed the Agents? A claim documented in books and by Peltier’s own admission in Redford’s film, Incident at Oglala. Barely looking into the camera, Peltier states “This story is true.” Well, it wasn’t and Peltier had to walk back that lie. One of his own came forward publicly to denounce it, along with one of his own attorneys. Without surprise Peltier never mentioned Mr. X in his own autobiography, Prison Writings. A truly innocent person would not have to fabricate his only alibi. 

http://www.noparolepeltier.com/lie.html

http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2012/12/peltier-kuzma-closes-circle-much-more.html

 

Any reasonable person with even a cursory understanding of the treatment of Native Americans could not deny history, nevertheless Leonard Peltier is the last person entitled to correct the wrongs of the past. 

 

Peltier is not deserving of commutation, whether he admits to the truth of the events of that June day at Pine Ridge, or not, but must continue to serve his consecutive life sentences and the additional seven consecutive years for an armed prison escape (a fact that Peltier and his supporters want everyone to ignore and forget).

 

Peltier has arguably had more appeals than many death row inmates. Any serious review of his convictions must include a thorough understanding of the lengthy appellate process. Without that it becomes more of the same tired rhetoric and fabrications promoted by decades of folklore and myth. 

 

The above barely scratches the surface of the entire case against Leonard Peltier’s remorseless guilt. In just about every sense one can imagine, Peltier and the truth are strangers to one another.

 

"In the Spirit of Coler and Williams"


Ed Woods

Cincinnati, Ohio

Saturday, October 9, 2021

PELTIER: A NEW WEBSITE

Dear Supporters:

 

Peltier remains at USP Coleman serving the remainder of his two consecutive life sentences for the brutal murder of FBI Agents Jack Coler and Ron Williams, along with the additional seven consecutive years for his armed escape from Lompoc Penitentiary. The International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee (ILPDC) has relocated, again, for about the sixth time, from Florida to a desktop in an apartment in Marshall, Wisconsin, along with an updated website.

 

The latest website is well done but still contains the same fabrications, misinformation and some provable lies that have been the bedrock of Peltier’s persona since his arrest in Canada on February 6, 1976. This website mirrors the same myth and folklore that has been promoted by the ever-morphing Peltier committees.

 

In other words, within the Peltier camp, and Peltier himself, nothing has changed;  peddle the same falsehoods repeated ad nauseam, only now in a more presentable format. These falsehoods and erroneous claims have been continually exposed through a lengthy appellate process. 

 

The appellate courts have not shied away from recognizing Peltier’s guilt as just a few examples clearly demonstrate:

 

“The direct and circumstantial evidence of Peltier’s guilt was strong…Peltier’s contention of manufactured evidence are far from convincing.”

(Direct Appeal; Eighth Circuit, 9/14/78)

 

“When all is said and done, however, a few simple but very important facts remain. The casing introduced into evidence had in fact been extracted from the Wichita AR-15.” (Eighth Circuit, 9/11/86; referencing Peltier’s AR-15)

 

“Peltier’s arguments fail because their underlying premises are fatally flawed.”

(Eighth Circuit, 7/7/93)

 

“The record as a whole leaves no doubt that the jury accepted the government’s theory that Peltier had personally killed the two agents, after they were seriously wounded, by shooting them at point blank range with an AR-15 rifle.”

(Rule 35 Motion, Eighth Circuit, 12/18/02)

 

And, “I believe he got a fair trial, not a perfect trial, but a fair trial” (Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Gerald Heaney; 1991, ’60 Minutes’ interview. Judge Heaney played a critical role in Peltier’s appellate history, and later as well. (Footnote 1)

 

* * *

 

Peltier, not likely a fisherman, nonetheless is always trolling for cash; lately through the Peltier Store or with the usual begging to help with his legal woes that all can be found in the same smelly chum bucket.

 

His, Peltier v. Joel Sacks, et. al. case, stemming from the great Tumwater, Washington paintings caper, hit a brick wall recently (Fn. 2)

 

On August 19th a federal judge dismissed, with prejudice, Peltier’s federal civil suit.

A month later, as is his right to do so, Peltier filed an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (NCCA). So, what happens next? Another year delay, or longer perhaps (assuming the Ninth Circuit even entertains accepting the case), with two possible outcomes: The NCCA upholds the dismissal which means, literally, case closed, or rejects the lower court’s dismissal which then means probably another year or more as Peltier and Washington State continue their battle.

 

However, there is a much deeper problem. 

 

In dismissing Peltier’s civil suit, with prejudice (unquestionably a significant legal distinction), the District Court apparently accepted the State’s legal arguments, based on a factual finding, that Peltier had ‘no standing’ to bring the civil suit forward in the first place. It was undisputed that the paintings displayed in the government facility in Tumwater, Washington did not belong to Leonard Peltier; a fact that was not initially brought to the court’s attention. Peltier had given the artwork to the ILPDC and it is a hypothetical supposition whether the ILPDC could even bring similar action against Washington State.

 

Yet, Peltier appealed to the Ninth Circuit and the case will likely end there.

 

Peltier tells us he will try again for parole. Let’s hope he finds a better attorney this time because the last one made a public statement that was arguably the dumbest statement in the entire history of the Peltier saga.

 

On July 28, 2009, before a small group gathered outside the concrete walls of Lewisburg Penitentiary, the attorney made this outlandish comment:

 

“…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.”

 

A first semester law student could recognize the fallacy of such a baseless argument. The Government, (unlike Peltier over the years changing his version of the events of June 26, 1975), has no need to come up with anything new beyond Peltier’s Fargo trial, conviction and numerous appeals. The ‘government,’ that obviously escaped the attorney’s troubled logic, repeatedly, over the course of many appeals, explained in great detail their justification for Peltier’s conviction and continued incarceration. Throughout that entire process Peltier’s conviction and sentence has never been altered. Nevertheless, the attorney did get one thing right; if someone brutally murders a law enforcement officer then logic dictates that spending one’s life in prison, is justified. 

 

Noted at the bottom of the new homepage is the repeated reminder that:

 

Much of the information contained on this site is derived from ‘In the Spirit of Crazy Horse’ by renowned author Peter Matthiessen…He is a highly respected author and his works have received wide acclaim.”

 

To reiterate an infamous phrase; depending on what the meaning of the word isis, perhaps the ILPDC should point out that Mr. Matthiessen passed away seven years ago, April 5, 2014 to be exact. Matthiessen did attend Peltier’s 2009 Lewisburg parole hearing, but nevertheless his seminal work was not without serious criticism. Matthiessen “is utterly unconvincing, indeed embarrassingly sophomoric, when he pleads the legal innocence of individual Indian criminals…and not only fails to convince; he inadvertently makes a strong case for Mr. Peltier’s guilt.” (Legal scholar and Harvard Law professor, Alan Dershowitz, New York Times book review, 1983.)

 

The homepage of the updated website carries forward a more recent fallacy from 2017:

 

“James Reynolds Former US Attorney said (The Guardian 01/04/2017) of Leonard, “You’re not really participating in the crime yourself. Just because you’re there, you’re going to get nailed.” Citing Peltier’s motives, Reynolds added, “He didn’t go out there with the intention to kill anybody. He was trying to protect his people”

 

The Guardian article barely scratches the surface of the facts behind the outrageous public claims made by James H. Reynolds. That could explain why the ILPDC didn’t go further into the alleged authority over the Peltier case that Reynolds’ claimed. Claims, that upon even a casual examination simply evaporated. To state that Reynolds was disingenuous, confused or distracted would be much too mild of a criticism of his public assertions, because they were transparently untrue. Rather than rehashing the Reynolds fiasco here, and to demonstrate that Reynolds, the interloper dancing on the graves of two murdered and mutilated human beings, please take a moment and see the following (Fn. 3).

 

According to the new website, Peltier’s thirty-three week effort to raise cash for his legal fund has reached an astonishing 36% of its goal, which pretty well demonstrates the continued lack of interest within his support structure. Maybe folks like bantering his name about, waving some posters and banners, but when it comes down to it, hands seem to get stuck in pockets and although Peltier has had some very capable attorneys, good pro bono attorneys are hard to find, and keep.

 

At least in the begging arena Peltier has avoided the previously repeated canard that giving money to him was “tax-deductible.” That is gone, finally, or for now at least, by the wayside. Perhaps those prior attempts at tax-deductible donations were finally noted by the I.R.S. 

(Fn. 4)

 

The last thing Peltier may be is a charity case. What he is though is a convicted felon who remains, despite his personal travails and alligator tears of innocence, guilty and an unrepentant convicted murderer. (Fn. 5)

 

“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”

Ed Woods

 

 

Footnotes:

1)The Heaney factor: http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2017/10/

2) Leonard Peltier, Chauncey Peltier v. Joel Sacks, et. al., #C17-5209-JCC.

Review of early history of the Washington State case:

http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2018/09/

See also ‘Reply in support of State Defendants motion for summary judgment,’ noting date, January 22, 2021, 3:17-cv-05209-JCC, U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington at Tacoma.

3) James H. Reynolds: Part 1

http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2017/01/peltier-reynolds-false-claims.html

Part 2 http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2017/12/james-reynolds-part-ii-letters-public.html

Part 3 http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2018/01/peltier-james-reynolds-part-iii-dancing.html

Reynolds follow up: http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2021/06/

4) I.R.S. and 501(c)3: http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2019/01/peltier-public-charity-part-2-inurement.html

Tax deductible issues:

http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2017/10/peltier-tax-deductible-legal-issues.html

5) Why Peltier is the worst: http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2019/03/

Friday, July 30, 2021

SA Ronald A. Williams, June 26, 1975, R.I.P.

Dear Supporters:


Today, July 30, Ron would have celebrated his seventy-fourth birthday.
 


He would have been long retired from the Bureau and perhaps retired again from a second career like so many of us have. 

 

Ron likely would be enjoying his golden years showering grandchildren with affection and spoiling them as grandparents are expected and prone to do. 

 

Since Ron was a pilot, and loved flying, perhaps he would still be enjoying those short flights for the proverbial twenty-five dollar hamburger, even if they are now closer to two-hundred. 

But none of those wishes and dreams of the future happened but for a chance encounter with the cowards on the Jumping Bull farm at Pine Ridge in the summer of 1975.

 

In the ensuing years many more Agents and law-enforcement men and women have paid the ultimate price and sacrifice in the line of duty. But from what we know of Ron’s pleasant personality, warm demeanor and strong and unwavering character, it’s more likely than not he would be benevolent to those at Jumping Bull. Perhaps that comes with the wisdom of being able to look down upon us all with wisdom and clarity. 

 

Our thoughts and prayers continue for the entire Williams family and all those who knew him as the fine young man he was, and will always be to us. As we remember him today he is still that same wonderful person.

 

Ron’s spirit lives on as those who remain will continue to remember and honor his sacrifice, as well as his partner, Jack.

 

Keep watching over us Ron, now more than ever we need a special guardian angel. 

“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”

Ed Woods

Saturday, June 26, 2021

PELTIER: "Is a forgotten story" & James Reynolds

Dear Supporters:

 

In a recent post begging, as usual, for more cash and accompanied this time with a video, Peltier is falling way short of his goal to pay his attorneys for work on possible parole, transfer to another facility, clemency and his Washington State case.

 

By Peltier’s account the money-well is all but dried up, but at least he’s not claiming that donations are ‘tax deductible.’ Maybe Peltier finally learned a lesson from the IRS (Footnote 1). However, there is still a lingering allusion from Peltier’s message that the convicted felon appears to be running a business from federal prison and we have to wonder if taxes are being paid on these donations.

 

Peltier has to ask himself what happened to all his prior attorneys. Many in the beginning and during lengthy appeals were paid by the largesse of the American taxpayer. Many provided pro bono support, without success, and with little gratitude from Peltier. The latest ones apparently want their billable hours covered.

 

As for a transfer to a prison closer to the Turtle Mountain Reservation, does Peltier really need an attorney? He can make his request directly to the Bureau of Prisons.

 

Parole? Although entitled to parole review hearings every two years, most of which he declined to pursue, it was evident from his 2009 hearing at Lewisburg that the Parole Commission has little sympathy for a convicted double murderer and flopped him for fifteen years, which brings him at least to July 2024. (Fn. 2)

 

James Reynolds; A closer look

 

Peltier offered that “Even the former US Attorney James Reynolds has called for Leonard’s release.”

 

Reynolds certainly had the right to express his opinion about Peltier and clemency. However, his public statements remain severely inaccurate. Reynolds claimed that he had “directed” the appellate process, though, in reality, while allegedly doing so, in some abnormal and bizarre manner Reynolds crossed both State lines and federal judicial boundaries. 

 

No one is saying that Reynolds lied about his connection to the Peltier case but his actual involvement, according to the record of Peltier’s prosecution, clearly demonstrates that Reynolds either utterly exaggerated his perceived authority, unequivocally misremembered or just did not care about what actually occurred.

 

The facts speak for themselves and support that Reynolds’s claim of “directing” the Peltier prosecution is a “gross misstatement of the record,” and that there was “no conversation of any kind,” and that Reynolds “contributed nothing what-so-ever to what went into the final brief on Direct Appeal or into any of the subsequent government briefs resisting Peltier’s numerous attempts to obtain Post Conviction Relief.” 

 

Peltier and the ILPDC are invited to review the actual events and facts concerning Reynolds public statements. Reynolds, the actual interloper, offered unsupportable public comments that bordered on the extreme. (Fn. 3)

 

* * *

 

In the accompanying video in Peltier’s latest missive, Harry Belafonte said it best, “Leonard Peltier is a forgotten story.” 

 

But the memory of Jack Coler and Ron Williams certainly is not.

 

“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”

Ed Woods

 

Footnotes:

1) Tax-deductible issues: http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2017/10/peltier-tax-deductible-legal-issues.html

2) Parole hearing; Lewisburg http://www.noparolepeltier.com/debate.html#paroledenied

3) Reynolds:

Part 1, Three part series regarding the facts and the alleged authority Reynolds claimed in the Peltier case:  http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2017/01/peltier-reynolds-false-claims.html

Part II: http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2017/12/james-reynolds-part-ii-letters-public.html

Part III: http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2018/01/peltier-james-reynolds-part-iii-dancing.html

 

Friday, April 30, 2021

PELTIER: 21 YEARS AND COUNTING

Dear Supporters:

 

Much has happened since last April when the No Parole Peltier Association reached its twentieth anniversary, and here we are, another year later, hopefully now reaching the final stages of the Covid  pandemic. 

 

Another year has passed assuring that the memory and sacrifice in the line of duty of two young FBI Agents is never forgotten and Peltier remains challenged for his decades of myth, folklore and provable lies about what really happened that sultry summer day at Pine Ridge.

 

The last year was filled with the same tired, “I’m innocent” and “look how much I have done for my People,” and “Send me more money” rhetoric from years past, none of which has any measurable value because it lacks legitimacy. (Footnote 1)

 

Peltier is in another one of those hopeful periods as he was with Presidents’ Clinton and Obama with a vestige of hopefully seeing the light of day. Peltier also sought a futile attempt at commutation from President Trump. All the Presidents who were aware of Peltier’s clemency petitions recognized that Peltier was undeserving of any leniency or compassion.

 

A reality check is that parole, the Cares Act, or even a transfer northward out of Florida are a borderline delusion.

 

Should Peltier’s consecutive life sentences (and the additional seven consecutive years for the armed escape from Lompoc penitentiary—a tidy little fact that Peltier and his supporters faithfully ignore) become a reality and result in commutation, there are effectively two options:

 

Peltier returns to his Reservation and lives out his remaining years, (the years he robbed from Jack Coler and Ron Williams), in solitude with his family and friends; then so be it.

 

If, however, Peltier thinks he will gain any financial benefit, even one solitary dollar, by speaking out about his murderous actions, he is mistaken. Every lie Peltier continues to spew—and there have been many—about what he alleges happened on June 26, 1975 will be challenged, as they have been since April 30, 2000, and forever long afterwards.

 

All the best to everyone as America struggles through these difficult times.

 

“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”

Ed Woods

 

p.s.

Recently some humor and a joke for 2021 was posted on the Internet that Peltier was nominated, allegedly for the seventh time, for a Nobel Peace Prize. Nonetheless, even an official of the Nobel Committee stated that “thousands of people…have nominating rights, so being proposed for the prize is no distinction in itself.” And, “…it is easy to get nominated for the prize, but very hard to win, and there is a common misunderstanding. The fact that someone is nominated is in no way a form of endorsement from the committee.” In simpler terms for Peltier and his supporters: Just about anyone can nominate just about anyone else. Further, and more to the point, being an unrepentant cold-blooded murderer is not one of the Nobel Committee categories. (Fn. 2)

 

Footnotes:

1) Peltier background, a summary:  http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2020/04/peltier-20-years-later.html

2) Additional history and the idiocy of being ‘nominated’ for a Nobel Peace prize: http://www.noparolepeltier.com/debate.html#peace