Sunday, October 14, 2018


Dear Supporters:

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 evidencetaken 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 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”
Ed Woods

*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:
2) Canadian extradition letter:
“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:
6) And really… admission is valid when considered within the context of how the statement was made.
7) Don’t regret… admission is valid when considered within the context of how the statement was made.
8) From participating… this blog for a full explanation. 

Thursday, October 4, 2018


Dear Supporters:

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.

Compassionate release: 

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”
Ed Woods

1) Federal rules for compassionate release:
Direct appeal for conviction:
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:”