Things have been fairly quiet on the Peltier front. No major recent announcements from the "Committee" except for one item that will be addressed in time.
For all, the best for a safe and blessed holiday season and good health and happiness for the New Year.
"In the Spirit of Coler and Williams"
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
Sunday, October 14, 2018
Peltier must believe his followers are idiots.
Peltierites are either incapable of reading and understanding the history of Peltier’s conviction, dismissive of the truth, or have very short and selective memories.
On February 6,2018 Peltier sent a brief press release on the anniversary of his arrest in Canada. He offered three main points:
A fabrication of the government’s arguments for his conviction; the whining of an old man and his ailments and begging for Peltierites to fork over more cash; plus a few other worthless anecdotes.
Lies are always with us and in certain circumstances acceptable, like little white lies (as when a man is asked, “Does this dress make me look fat?”). But when they are immoral or deceiving without remorse or regret, or worse yet justified with shallow pretense, they become the worst sort.
This is a two-part canard:
Peltier claimed that the Assistant U.S. Attorney stated before the 8thCircuit Court of Appeals, Judge Gerald Heaney:
“Your honor, we do not know who killed those agents. Further, we don’t know what participation if any Mr. Peltier had in it.”
--The first part, argued by Peltier in 1993, was thoroughly dismissed by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals as being “fatally flawed.” What AUSA Lynn Crooks actually said was:
“Well, undoubtedly it wouldn‘t but I have no doubt whatsoever that we still would have convicted him. I think the best precedent that one can point to is the recent murder of our two marshals. We have exactly the same kind of situation. But we can’t prove who shot those agents.”
Nevertheless, this has not precluded Peltier from repeating the same flawed and discredited premise. (Footnote 1) (Please read the footnotes.)
--Then Peltier comes up with something new, not merely misrepresenting AUSA Crooks’ actual statement, but totally manufactured and without an ounce of truth or credibility he provides the follow-up lie:
“Further, we don’t know what participation if any Mr. Peltier had in it.”
This damning statement does not come up in the trial or appellate record. It is false on its face and proof that Peltier will say just about anything to attempt to muddy the record and confuse his gullible supporters. If the Government made such a statement during the appellate process—after it had already convicted Peltier of murder and aiding and abetting—it could have resulted in a reversal of the conviction or possibly a new trial. Peltier’s latest claim has all the permanence of writing on water.
Since Peltier has never answered any of the NPPA letters, editorial essays and Blogs sent to him in the various federal recreational facilities, a polite email was sent to the ILPDC on February 10th asking for a specific date and reference for this defective claim. Of course, there was no response because it was a fabricated lie and they are unable to support it.
Peltier adds, wrongly again, referencing a “…false affidavit the FBI manufactured about Myrtle Poor Bear being at Oglala on the day of the fire-fight. A fabricated document used to extradite me illegally from Canada in 1976.”
Wrong! The Canadian government did consider the Poor Bear affidavits and determined that Peltier was lawfully extradited: “I have concluded that Mr. Peltier was lawfully extradited to the United States.”“…the circumstantial evidence, taken alone, constituted sufficient evidence to justify Mr. Peltier’s committal on the two murder charges.”(Emphasis added). In other words, notwithstanding Poor Bear he was subject to extradition. Is that too difficult for Peltierites to comprehend?
(Please read the Canadian Minister of Justice’s letter responding to Peltier’s allegations of a wrongful extradition process that clearly refutes his allegations and claims – yet he continues to repeat them believing they make great folklore. Folklore they may be, but they’re simply and indisputably not true. Fn.2)
No small irony, and tucked away in the record was Peltier’s attorney’s opinion of Myrtle Poor Bear when they believed the government would call her as a witness. Peltier’s own attorney characterized her as a “witness whose mental imbalance is so gross as to render her testimony unbelievable.” (Fn.3)
Nice try! This is just another example of Peltier the warrior/victimtrying to have it both ways; alleging that Poor Bear was the reason he was extradited from Canada, but when it came to her testifying at his trial, threw her under the proverbial bus.
Peltier presents himself as a great native warrior, imprisoned for undertaking a noble cause, becoming sort of a prophet for his people, yet his constant pandering for cash makes him more like a prophet of profits. And he continues to whine: He wants to spend time with his family, hug his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, wants compassion for his poor health and age, heart issues, prostate issues, ailments causing pain, arthritic hips and knees—he feels isolated from the world and that a day in prison is a lifetime.
In response to that; Gee that is tough. Peltier should try the alternative—that of the two severely wounded men he then brutally murdered. Odds are he’d take the old man in prison route. Peltier didn’t give Jack Coler and Ron Williams any such option to hold their children or grandchildren and grow old gracefully.
Peltier adds another fairytale:
“I have been here too long. The beginning of my 43rdyear plus over 20 years of good time credit, that makes 60+ years behind bars.”
The convoluted math calculation aside, Peltier conveniently forgot why he’s in USP Coleman in the first place, a prison that’s just about as far away from his home turf as one can get and still remain in the continental United States. We can’t forget the shot—the wire incidentthat landed Peltier in solitary confinement at USP Lewisburg and that may have resulted in his transfer down south. Peltier has told us he’s spent over five years in solitary, which pretty much means he’s been far from a cooperative or ideal inmate. Lets also not forget the armed escape from Lompoc and the addititional seven-year consecutive sentence. (Fn.4)
Peltier also adds, in caps, “But I will say again I DID NOT KILL THOSE AGENTS.” All caps are the equivalent of yelling at someone. As an optional or alternative suggestion he can shout it from the USP Coleman rooftop for as long as he desires.
Perhaps, he can even add a few more barks at the moon in the process:
I LIED FOR YEARS ABOUT MY ONLY ALIBI THAT MR. X KILLED THE AGENTS. (Fn.5)
“AND REALLY, IF NECESSARY, I’D DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN BECAUSE IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.” (Fn.6)
“I DON’T REGRET ANY OF THIS FOR A MINUTE.” (Fn.7)
“I DID NOT WAKE UP ON THAT JUNE 26 PLANNING TO INJURE OR SHOOT FEDERAL AGENTS AND DID NOT GAIN ANYTHING FROM PARTICIPATING IN THE INCIDENT.” (Fn.8)* (Please understand the implication of Peltier admitting “participating in the event.”)
“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”
*Admittedly this would be a bit of a long shout.
United States Court Of Appeals For The Eighth Circuit 997 F.2d 461, 1993 U.S. App. Decision July 7, 1993, Filed. Excerpt follows:
--[Assistant United States Attorney] Crooks: Well, undoubtedly it wouldn‘t but I have no doubt whatsoever that we still would have convicted him. I think the best precedent that one can point to is the recent murder of our two marshals. We have exactly the same kind of situation. But we can’t prove who shot those agents.
--“First, as the district court recognized in this section §2255 proceeding, it is unclear whether the references to ”those agents“ was to the ”two marshals“ mentioned two sentences earlier who had recently been murdered, or to the two FBI agents killed in this case. In any event, this eight-word comment in response to Judge Heaney‘s statements, is a totally inadequate basis for asserting that the government conceded that it had not proved that Peltier personally shot the agents at close range, or that that was the sole basis upon which the government tried the case. Earlier in the argument, the government had stated several times that its theory was that Peltier was guilty of murdering the FBI agents because he either killed them personally or aided and abetted their killing:”
--“Peltier‘s arguments fail because their underlying premises are fatally flawed. (A) The government tried the case on alternative theories: it asserted that Peltier personally killed the agents at point blank range, but that if he had not done so, then he was equally guilty of their murder as an aider and abettor. (B) The government’s statement at the prior oral argument, upon which Peltier relies, was not a concession that the government had not proved that Peltier had not killed the agents personally, and that Peltier‘s conviction could be sustained only on an aiding and abetting theory. (C) The evidence allegedly supporting Peltier’s self-defense claim, which he claims was improperly excluded, was correctly rejected.”
Further: “The record as a whole leaves no doubtthat the jury accepted the government’s theory that Peltier had personally killedthe two agents, after they were seriously wounded, by shooting them at point blank range with an AR-15 rifle.”(8thCircuit; No. 02-1761, 12/18/02; Judges Hansen, “HEANEY” and Arnold: http://www.noparolepeltier.com/8circuit.pdf
2) Canadian extradition letter: http://www.noparolepeltier.com/canadaletter.html
“As I indicated above, I have concluded that Mr. Peltier was lawfully extraditedto the United States. In my opinion, given the test for committal for extradition referred to above, the circumstantial evidence presented at the extradition hearing, take alone, constituted sufficient evidence to justify Mr. Peltier’s committal on the two murder charges. My conclusions in this regard are consistent with the arguments made by Department of Justice counsel before both the Federal Court of Appealand the Supreme Court of Canada.
Furthermore, the third Poor Bear affidavit was consideredby the Federal Court of Appeal and the Minister of Justice before Mr. Peltier was extradited to the United States. Subsequently, further submissions respecting the third Poor Bear affidavit were made to the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as the appellate courts in the United States.
The record demonstrates that the case was fully considered by the courts and by the then Minister of Justice. There is no evidence that has come to lightsince then that would justify a conclusion that the decisions of the Canadian courts and Minister of Justice should be interfered with.” (10/12/99, emphasis added)
4) Peltier ‘shot’ and transfer:
5) Mr. X the lie: http://www.noparolepeltier.com/lie.html
6) And really…http://www.noparolepeltier.com/debate.html#confessionThis admission is valid when considered within the context of how the statement was made.
7) Don’t regret…http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2014/09/peltier-update-broken-record-with.htmlThis admission is valid when considered within the context of how the statement was made.
8) From participating…http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2017/01/peltier-another-admission.htmlSee this blog for a full explanation.
Thursday, October 4, 2018
In recent years Leonard Peltier and his “committee” (it’s difficult to know what to call it because they keep altering the name) has moaned about seeking a compassionate release mainly due to his age—74—and health issues relating to recent bypass surgery, prostate issues and arthritis in his hips and knees.
In simple terms, Peltier is getting old and facing the normal aging process that all of us—to one extent or another—will undeniably face, until the end.
The relevant statute, Title 18 U.S.C. § 4205(g) was repealed in 1987 but remains the controlling law for inmates whose offenses occurred prior to that time. Peltier was convicted of brutally murdering two FBI Agents in 1975 and this is the standard he must meet. (Footnote 1)
As an inmate, Peltier may make the request personally to the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), through the Warden, USP Coleman, or through “another person.” Peltier may use his most recent attorney, David Frankel.
On March 19, 2018 Peltier announced that he was awaiting his BOP medical records and if not received would be filing “a motion on April 4thto get the records,” all for the purpose of a Reduction in Sentence(RIS). (If filed, this motion may be a matter of public record in the U.S. District Court and subject to review and comment.)
Peltier must articulate the extraordinaryor compelling circumstances that warrant RIS consideration.
Peltier would have to provide proposed release plans including where he will reside (that’s been pretty well established, or claimed previously, to be on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in North Dakota), how he will support himself (perhaps more “tax-deductible” donations, selling more artwork or perhaps speaking fees), and since the request will involve Peltier’s health, how and where he will receive medical treatment and pay for that treatment. (Perhaps from an AIM sympathetic doctor or Medicaid, for which he would be eligible, even as a convicted felon.)
Peltier could be given RIS consideration if he has been diagnosed with a terminal, incurable disease and his life expectancy is eighteen (18) months or less. It is possible that Peltier may have a terminal and incurable condition, in a manner of speaking, but not one that would limit his life expectancy to eighteen months or less. Its possible Peltier could live another ten or twenty years, in or out of USP Coleman.
If Peltier had a debilitating medical condition that is incurable and progressive and from which he will not recover, a RIS could be considered if he is completely disabled, meaning he cannot continue any self-care and is totally confined to a bed or chair, or confined to a bed or chair for more than 50% of his waking hours.
Remember though, the infamous Mafia Don, John Gotti, while serving a life sentence was diagnosed with throat cancer, underwent surgery, but died in 2002 in a federal prison hospital facility in Springfield, Missouri.
Peltier has complained about not being able to get around like he used to, but according to him and the “committee” he’s doing quite well with his ability to continue his prison artwork. By this measure, he is not disabled or debilitated. Although sitting and painting is not a strenuous activity, it does require fine motor skills and cognitive focusing on details.
If Peltier demonstrated any cognitive deficits, like Alzheimer’s or traumatic brain injury, he could be considered for a RIS.
Nevertheless, Peltier is lucid, vocal and sometimes articulate in his repeated claims of innocence and being an alleged political prisoner. Although his facts have been challenged in the public domain, he has demonstrated fairly reasonable intellectual skills, both in his press releases and interviews.
However, there are major obstacles Peltier must navigate for any consideration of a compassionate release:
Nature and circumstances of his offense: Contrary to Peltier’s claims, there are no secrets here. His conviction has arguably received more critical attention and reviews than inmates on death row. (Fn.2)
To list but just a few from the many appellate decisions:
“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]
“The record as a whole leaves no doubt that the jury acceptedthe 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, 8th Circuit, 12/18/02]
“I believe he got a fair trial, not a perfect trial, but a fair trial.” [8th Circuit Court Judge Gerald Heaney; 1991, “60 Minutes” segment]
Criminal history: Although petty in the early days, being convicted of the brutal slaying of two already wounded FBI Agents (by Peltier and other AIM members) trapped in a crossfire in an open field is just about all the criminal history the Warden at USP Coleman or the BOP need consider. Although, there was the armed escape from Lompoc—where guards were shot at—and for which Peltier still owes an additional seven consecutive years.
The victims: Jack Coler’s widow, his children who may have little or no remembrance of their father, his grandchildren, along with Ron Williams who would likely have married, had children and perhaps grandchildren, would all have much to offer regarding the trauma and suffering they have endured over these many years. Add to that Jack and Ron’s many friends and fellow Agents who have never forgotten Peltier’s criminal acts nor his unrepentant public statements that have only worsened the pain they feel.
Institutional adjustment & Disciplinary infractions: Not the best inmate track record here. By Peltier’s own admission, in his latest clemency petition, he acknowledged spending over five years in solitary confinement.
Personal history from the Pre-sentence Report: This is not a public record so only Peltier and his attorneys know what it may contain.
The length of sentence and amount of time served. This factor is considered with respect to the proximity to a release date:
There is no release date. Peltier was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences but has claimed, “Under the laws I was indicted with, a life term was seven years.” (November 2015)
That’s an example of the Peltier Paradox at work; it sounds reasonable. Two consecutive life sentences would then equal fourteen years, and he’s done that almost three times. The math seems right but the premise is fatally flawed. (Fn.3)
Peltier has been challenged to produce any evidence that a life sentence in 1977, when he was convicted in Fargo, was seven years. Life sentences were typically, on average—when an inmate would be eligiblefor parole—twenty-five years. So on that basis, that’s fifty plus seven (Lompoc) or sometime in 2034.
Peltier’s current age: 74, Date of Birth, September 14, 1944.
Peltier’s age at time of sentencing: 33
Would Peltier’s release minimize the severity of the offense? Being released before the completion of his sentence, after being convicted of the brutal slaying of two already severely wounded human beings, woulddiminish the severity of the offense, especially if it is based on the simple fact that Peltier is getting long in the tooth.
When reviewing RIS requests, these factors are neither exclusivenor weighted. These factors should be considered to assess whether the RIS request presents particularly extraordinaryand compellingcircumstances:
On June 26, 1975 Peltier was a strong and healthy individual, his position as an AIM bodyguard can attest to that and there is nothing extraordinaryor compellingregarding facing the predictable challenges of the aging process. Around him today there are, no doubt, elderly inmates and lifers who are experiencing similar issues.
The BOP will consider whether Peltier’s release would pose a danger to the safety of any other person or the community: Although Peltier is elderly he is still capable of inflicting injury if he so intended. The BOP would have to determine, based on his criminal history and conduct as an inmate whether Peltier still poses a threat. Peltier detractors and the victims’ families would doubtless concur that he could still pose a danger to the safety of any other person or the community.
Peltier does notmeet the general criteria for “elderly inmates with medical conditions,” or the intentof the RIS process. For example:
Peltier is over 65, has served over ten years of his sentence, has arguably served at least 50% of his sentence, but not 75%, and did not exhibit these health related issues when he was sentenced. Peltier does exhibit medical conditions related to the aging process but not to the extent that deteriorating mental or physical health would substantially diminishhis ability to function in a correctional facility. Nonetheless, Peltier has had many years adjusting to his surroundings. Conventional treatments of his conditions, albeit not at the speed or frequency that Peltier demands, would not limit either sustaining him or an improvement of his conditions. After all, he did have bypass surgery when it was needed as well as other medical procedures over the years. Prison medical care may not be as focused or intensive as, let’s say, Johns Hopkins, but it is provided to the prison population under long-established BOP guidelines.
It was not surprising that within the RIS guidelines there was no requirement for an admission of guilt or a show of remorse for his crimes. That’s because this relates to other issues beyond—although certainly considered in the RIS process—his actual conviction. Likewise, this is not about the four decades of myth and folklore that has been the bedrock of the Peltier persona.
As an aside, although permitted to exercise his first amendment right to do so, many people would find it to be patently offensive—bordering on the obscene—should Peltier be released and make money by giving speeches about that infamous day. This would be viewed as Peltier profiting from the brutal murders of the Agents and would be offensive to hundreds of thousands of those in law enforcement.
And what can we say about Jack Coler and Ron Williams?
Peltier laments his expected age-related infirmities but there would be little debate, that if, let’s say on June 25, 1975—the day before—Jack and Ron were asked if they would prefer to be severely wounded and then shot in the face and murdered the very next day. Given the option they unquestionably would have been willing to face heart, prostate or arthritis issues as they would now, today, be 71 years of age. Would they have agreed to not have a full life with their families, children and grandchildren, being able to look back on successful careers and a happy and peaceful retirement? The obvious answer does not need to be stated.
Leonard Peltier, under Title 18 U.S.C. § 4205(g), as he may seek a Reduction of Sentence, should be shown as much compassion as he gave Jack Coler and Ron Williams. And that would be none.
“In the Sprit of Coler and Williams”
1) Federal rules for compassionate release:
Federal RIS procedures: https://www.bop.gov/policy/progstat/5050_049_CN-1.pdf
Direct appeal for conviction:http://www.noparolepeltier.com/585.html
2) Peltier complains about government documents that have not been released under the Freedom of Information Act and has received additional material this year. There is absolute certainty that there is not a memo stating that Peltier is innocent or was in Seattle or someplace else other than Jumping Bull that infamous day. The record of his conviction has been repeatedly sustained despite the collective efforts of a gaggleof attorneys.
3) On the related matter of “fatally flawed:” http://www.noparolepeltier.com/997.html
And in regard to the Peltier Paradox; http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2015/11/peltier-paintings-removed-peltier.html
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
On July 31, 2018, the following was published by the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee (ILPDC*):
“Leonard received word the Washington case regarding his First Amendment Right to have his paintings shown in public spaces will be allowed to move forward.”
Peltier is willing to speak publicly about the federal civil suit, and so is the NPPA.
What follows is summarized or quoted (in italics) from publicly available records regarding Peltier’s lawsuit and his paintings displayed for sale on public property by the State of Washington: U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington-Tacoma Case No. 3:17-cv-05209-RBL, Leonard Peltier, Chauncey Peltier v. Joel Sacks, Et. Al.
Supporters, and others who are interested, are invited to review the entire public record for themselves. (see: https://casetext.com/case/peltier-v-sacks)
Peltier paintings & Washington State
During November 2015 the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I), held an American Indian Heritage Month event that displayed artwork by Native American Artists on public property in their Tumwater, Washington facility. Among the artwork were four pieces by Leonard Peltier along with a notation about where to purchase the paintings.
A number of retired FBI Agents took exception to the fact that the artwork of the convicted murderer of two already wounded FBI Agents was being displayed for sale on public property and contacted the media and L&I.
Also, letters were written to Washington State and L&I officials. Two letters that became an issue in the subsequent Peltier civil suit were from the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI (then president, Larry Langberg) and the No Parole Peltier Association founder, Ed Woods. The NPPA letter provided a brief review of Peltier’s history and respectfully asked that the appropriateness of displaying Peltier’s artwork for sale be reviewed. (Footnote #1)
In a letter dated November 19, 2015, L&I Director Joel Sacks, advised that Peltier’s artwork was removed from the display. (Fn.2)
Leonard Peltier, Chauncey Peltier v. Joel Sacks, Et. Al.
On March 21, 2017 Peltier filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (USDC) for the Western District of Washington against several individuals alleging violation of due process and equal protection, defamation, tortuous interference with a contract, etc. Specifically named were Joel Sacks, L&I Director, Timothy Church, L&I Public Affairs Manager, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, Larry Langberg and Ed Woods.
The nineteen-page complaint alleged, in part, as to all defendants:
The acts and omissions of DEFENDANTS, were extreme and outrageous, and would be so seen and would shock the conscience of a reasonable person.
The conduct of DEFENDANTS was willful, malicious, oppressive, extreme and outrageous and/or reckless, and was of such a nature that punitive damages should be imposed in an amount commensurate with the wrongful acts alleged herein.
This censorship and removal caused considerable pain, emotional distress, potential economic loss, deprivation of an already established public forum, and other harm to PLAINTIFFS in an amount to be proved at trial…(emphasis added)
A number of “facts” provided in the complaint were inaccurate or patently false but will not be discussed here; they have been challenged and refuted many times in the past.
The complaint essentially resulted in the USDC addressing two separate issues, defamation, slander, harassment and libel as to Langberg and Woods, as a “Heckler’s veto” regarding the State’s actions, and the State of Washington’s (Sacks, Church, Inslee), right to remove Peltier’s paintings for just cause.
Peltier Loss; Langberg/Woods
On June 8, 2017 a Joint Motion to Dismiss All Claims against Langberg and Woods was submitted, and in part, contained the following:
…are absolutely immune from suit because they were engaged in protected public participation.
It is also clear that the subject of their communications pertained to a matter of concern to the L&I and the State of Washington.
The issue presented was whether a state agency like L&I found it favorable to exhibit artwork of a convicted double-murderer of civil servants. The L&I headquarters building, located in Tumwater, Washington, is a publicly funded and supported facility. The exhibition of Mr. Peltier’s art in a government owned building was viewed by them as a governmental endorsement and glorification of a convict found guilty of killing (assassination-style) two FBI Agents in the line of duty.
Washington protects individuals who communicate with its agencies and officials on matters reasonably of concern to the agency. RCW 4.24.510. The scope of the protection is as follows:
A person who communicates a complaint or information to any branch or agency of federal, state, or local government, …is immune from civil liability for claims based upon the communication to the agency or organization regarding any matter reasonably of concern to that agency or organization.
This anti-SLAPP statute, “grants immunity from civil liability for those who complain to their government regarding issues of public interest or social significance.” (Citing Baily v. State.) (SLAPP is a contraction for; Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation)
On June 26, 2017 Peltier submitted Plaintiffs’ Response to Defendant Langberg and Woods’ 12(b)(6) and Anti-SLAPP Motion.
The twenty-three page Motion at its core essentially claimed that the letters sent to the State were defamatoryand that the anti-SLAPP statue cannot be used as a shield for libel.
There are a number of inaccurate claims made in the Motion that will not be addressed here but have been previously reviewed and refuted in great detail based on court records and Peltier’s public statements. (Fn. 4)
On July 25, 2017 USDC Judge Ronald B. Leighton dismissed Peltier’s suit stating, in part:
The letters Woods and Langberg wrote to Sacks and Inslee regarded a matter of public concern to the State and to the L&I department specifically. Each communicated his displeasure with L&I’s public display of Peltier’s artwork, as it seemed to condone his murderous past. How the public receives a state-sanctioned public display is a matter of reasonably of concern to the State and to its agency housing the display. In fact, the public’s reaction concerned the State and L&I so much that L&I removed Peltier’s work for overshadowing the State’s American Indian Heritage Month Celebration.
Under the anti-SLAPP statute, Woods and Langberg are immune from suit for these communications, which regarded L&I’s public display of Peltier’s paintings. Peltier’s claims against Woods and Langberg are therefore DISMISSED with prejudice** under RCW 4.24.510.
(The Washington anti-SLAPP statute provides for the reimbursement of expenses and attorney’s fees and statutory damages of ten thousand dollars.)
Accordingly, Woods’ and langberg’s Motion to Dismiss [Dkt. #15] is GRANTED, and Peltier’s claims against them are DISMISSED with prejudice. They may file a motion describing the amount of expenses and fees they seek within 14 days. Their request for statutory damages is DENIED.
On September 11, 2017 Peltier filed a motion, Plaintiffs’ Response to Defendant Langberg and Woods’ Fee Petitions, which stated in part:
To provide a glimpse of Leonard Peltier’s financial situation and his lack of ability to earn an income: He has been in federal prison for the last four decades, without ability to work for a fair—or even minimum—wage. He is 72, almost 73, years old and currently recovering from triple bypass surgery. He is serving two life sentences, and has had every attempt at parole and clemency denied to this date. He will never earn a fair wage, and any amount of money that he could potentially earn would be mere dollars a month—an amount vastly below Washington’s wage garnishment statute.
Plaintiff Chauncey Peltier lives off of Social Security Disability benefits, and receives only $1,350 a month to cover basic living expenses.
For all the reasons stated above, Plaintiffs Leonard and Chauncey Peltier ask that this Court deny Defendants Woods and Langberg’ Motions/petitions for Attorneys’ fees and costs.
On October 12, 2017, Judge Leighton responded with an Order on Motion for Attorneys’ Fees:
The fees requested are reasonable and they are awarded. The Motions for attorneys’ fees are GRANTED and the clerk shall enter a judgment in the defendants’ favor reflecting the requested fees.
Peltier Appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
On November 21, 2017 Peltier filed Plaintiffs’ Notice of Appeal of Dismissal and Judgment as to Defendants Langberg and Woods, which stated:
Pursuant to FRAP 3 and 4 Plaintiffs LEONARD and CHAUNCEY PELTIER HERBY APPEAL AS A MATTER OF RIGHT THE JUDGEMENT DISMISSING THE ACTION AND ASSESSING ATTORNEYS FEES AND COSTS AS TO Defendants LARRY LANGBERG AND EDWARD WOODS in this matter.
The Office of the Clerk for the Ninth Circuit acknowledged Peltier’s notice of appeal on November 28, 2017 along with a Time Schedule Order that included a Mediation Questionnaire.
What followed was a letter from the Chief Circuit Judge providing details regarding the Court of Appeals mediation program, which stated in part:
I want to take this opportunity to introduce you to the Court’s mediation program. The Court offers you and your clients professional mediation services, at no cost, to help resolve disputes quickly and efficiently and to explore the development of more satisfactory results than can be achieved from continued litigation.
What then followed was a period of discussion and debate amongst the parties/attorneys resulting in a Release and Settlement Agreement.
Filed by the clerk of courts on April 2, 2018 was the following:
Appellant has settled and fully released his claims as to Edward Woods and Larry Langberg (“settling defendants”). His claims against the “other defendants” appear to remain pending.
(The “other defendants” referred to were Washington State officials, Sacks, Church and Inslee.)
On May 3, 2018 Circuit Mediator Chris Goetz filed with the court, in part, the following:
Pursuant to the court’s April 2, 2018, order, this appeal is deemed dismissed voluntarily, Fed. R. App. P. 42(b).
Dismissal is “with prejudice” with respect to the “settling defendants.”
Release and Settlement Agreement
Leonard & Chauncey Peltier—Edward Woods, Larry Langberg
The Release and Settlement Agreement, a clean-slate release, with no non-disclosure clause, was signed by Chauncey Peltier on March 9, 2018 and Leonard Peltier on July 28, 2018. The Peltiers’ were relieved from having to pay the attorney-fees judgment.
Peltier prevails in District Court
On July 16, 2018 USDC Judge Leighton filed an Order on Motion for Summary Judgment after reviewing arguments from Peltier and Washington State regarding the removal of Peltier’s paintings from L&I.
Judge Leighton dismissed, with prejudice, several of Peltier’s claims:
That the State defendants, Sacks, Church and Inslee acted in an official capacity; that they did not act with Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress against Peltier; that they were not negligent in their actions (Peltiers provide no evidence to support a negligence claim other than the conclusory allegation that Defendants “trampled on their duty of reasonable care and caused direct and foreseeable harm.”); Peltier will “accept a finding of violation and an order to rehang the paintings.” However, according to the Court; The Peltiers cite no authority imposing a mandatory injunction to remedy a state constitutional violation, and they do not articulate why a constitutional cause of action is more appropriate than a breach of contract cause of action.
Defendants Motion for Summary Judgment [Dkt. 42] is GRANTED with respect to Plaintiffs’ fifth and fourteenth amendment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and Washington constitutional claims. The motion is GRANTED with respect to Plaintiffs’ ¶ 1983 claim against Defendant Jay Inslee, and against all Defendants in their “official capacities.”
However, Judge Leighton ruled in Peltier’s favor on his first amendment claim:
Plaintiff has raised a genuine issue of fact as to whether removing his paintings violated his first amendment rights, and Defendants are not entitled to qualified immunity.
The order previously stated that: …in the public forum it designated, L&I needed a compelling government interest to remove Peltier’s paintings.
* * *
It would appear that the State may have several options:
Although not likely, the State could appeal this decision to the Ninth Circuit.
The State could provide Peltier with the two weeks to display his paintings at L&I. Although, there is no authority to impose such a mandatory injunction.
The State could move ahead with a trial. Again, although not likely.
The State could offer Peltier a monetary settlement to not pursue any further action.
* * *
When Peltier is criticized or challenged, by relying on court records and public statements—in other words exercising a fundamental first amendment right to confront Peltier in the public forum, Peltier responds as the quintessential victim with claims that criticism of him is a vendetta aimed to discredit, harass and defame him.
As an obvious metaphor Peltier can be likened to an overripe onion where each layer of myth and folklore shades what came before. But peal away each successive layer until they are all removed and what is left is nothing. Nothing but a brutal convicted double-murderer; so said the jury and every court reviewing his conviction and sentence.
Peltier speaks of innocence but he and his followers who subscribe to that notion have short or very selective memories. A truly innocent person would have no difficulty recounting the events at Pine Ridge. The details could be recited with precision but instead have changed over the years while adding self-incriminating public statements; statements taken within the context of where he was that day only reinforces his guilt.
Peltier and Peltierites hope others will ignore or forget Peltier’s only real alibi, the years-long-lie that was memorialized in books (not his own though), televised media interviews and even from his own lips on film. “This story is true,” he told everyone, that someone they knew, Mr. X in the infamous red pickup, killed the agents. The lie of the alibi was made public by one of the AIM participants that fateful day and later corroborated by a Peltier attorney.
Since Peltier stood by such a blatant lie for so many years, why should anyone believe his claims of innocence?
“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”
*Over the years it has been well established that any communication from the various Peltier committees are authored or approved by Peltier himself. Thus, public announcements from the ILPDC are credited directly back to Peltier.
** with prejudice: A dismissal with prejudice is dismissal of a case on merits after adjudication. The plaintiff is barred from bringing an action on the same claim. Dismissal with prejudice is a final judgment and the case becomes res judicata (a matter already judged) on the claims that were or could have been brought in it.
1) Letter to Governor Inslee: http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2015/11/peltier-dear-governor-inslee.html
2) Blog re L&I letter: http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2015/11/peltier-paintings-removed-part-2.html
Follow-up re removal of paintings: http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2015/11/peltier-paintings-removed-peltier.html
3) Addressing just one of those issues that is now a matter of public federal court record, Peltier states, and has erroneously claimed in the past that “…Woods…a retired FBI agent…since his retirement (first under paid contract with the FBI)…” This claim “first under paid contract with the FBI” is patently false. It is submitted to federal court without factual basis and is in fact, a lie.4) By direct reference in several pages in this Motion, claims of humanitarian and charitable activities are taken directly from Peltier’s website. Many of these claims are overstated, inaccurate, some unprovable or unsupported by actual documentation or scrutiny.