Saturday, November 26, 2022


 Dear Supporters: 


Is Leonard Peltier’s latest attorney, Kevin H. Sharp, acting in the best interests of his client?


What follows describes the reasons why the NPPA is convinced he is not.


The answer to this central question, as Sharp continues to promote provable falsehoods, would be based on either of two assumptions:


One is that for some inexplicable reason an attorney and former federal judge has failed to grasp the facts.


The other is that he does understand that he is provably wrong, but that it matters little in his blind pursuit to attempt to secure Peltier’s release.


Sharp, as a Peltier activist, and like Peltier himself, has become a public figure. As such he is held to a higher standard than ordinary citizens. Sharp’s many public statements are thus subject to scrutiny to explore why he is incapable of comprehending a fairly simple and straight-forward factual conclusion. 


What follows challenges—once again—the repeated refrain from Kevin Sharp, that the government changed its theory of its prosecution during Peltier’s lengthy appellate process to one of Aiding and Abetting. In other words—after Peltier’s conviction and during his appeals.


Aiding and Abetting is not the only issue Sharp has adulterated.[i]


It is unmistakable that Sharp cannot claim any credit for mouthing what is an obvious fallacy. He is certainly not that creative or possessing extraordinary legal acumen, at least in the Peltier case. Why? Because, this Aiding and Abetting delusion has been around for years—three decades actually—before Sharp crawled into the Peltier teepee. 


Previous Peltier attorneys, seeing what they believed was a legal opportunity and weakness in the government’s case, initially attempted the ‘changed the government theory’ approach for the first time in 1991.[ii] It failed miserably, of course. According to the court it was a “fatally flawed” argument and all Sharp did was purloin their legal failure. The original effort was attempted collectively by five (5) Peltier attorneys.[iii]  Perhaps Sharp, as he has done publicly already—criticizing prior Peltier related judges—believes he is more capable than all these prior attorneys as well.[iv] Actually, and to the contrary, even the Court of Appeals recognized that Peltier “was equally well-represented at trial and on appeal.” (8th Circuit, 9/14/78). 


How can Sharp promote, misinterpret or misunderstand this Aiding and Abetting falsehood when the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals in 1993 clearly dismissed this issue.


Supporters, whether attorneys or not, if at least familiar with basic criminal law procedures and the justice system or can understand straight-forward and plain text language, are strongly encouraged to review the entire decision for themselves. [v]


The highlighted words that follow are impossible to misinterpret or fail to understand. Sharp succumbs to the axiom that People are entitled to their own opinions, they are not entitled to their own facts.


It is impossible to conclude that, in all the circumstances, (AUSA) Crooks…intended…to abandon one of the two theories upon which the government had tried the case and upon which the case was submitted to the jury. (i.e., Alternative theories; murder and aiding and abetting)


“For the second time, the appellant, Leonard Peltier, seeks by a proceeding under 28 U.S.C. 

§ 2255 (1988) to set aside his 1977 conviction for the premeditated 1975 murder of two agents… The district court denied relief, ruling that (1) the record does not support Peltier‘s contention that an alleged concession by government counsel during oral argument before this court in the prior section 2255 appeal resulted in a change in the theory of the government’s case and, therefore, produced a conviction that could not be supported by the evidence introduced at trial and…”. 


(Peltier Trial; Defense opening argument; Tr. at 34)

Finally, if as the government has told you they will prove or expect to prove that one or more people shot and killed these two agents at very close range, it will be important for you to be able to determine whether anybody not actually close in, was around the edges, either knew this was taking place or was supporting or aiding and abetting them in some way, that would make them culpable


(8th Circuit Opinion) 

Defense counsel urged the court to require the government to elect between the two theories. The court responded: ”It seems to me the government’s response was to present all of the available relevant evidence and it‘s up to the jury to make the determination on the basis of that evidence whether one or {F.2d 467} either of these situations [occurred].“ Tr. at 3449.


Both the government and the defense submitted proposed jury instructions on aiding and abettingDefense counsel, however, urged the court not to give the jury any aiding and abetting instruction. In response, the government supported such instruction:


With regard to the area of aiding and abetting, I would state that aiding and abetting is helping. Aiding and abetting is seeing to it or assisting someone in the commission of a crime. Now even if the jury did not believe that the defendant himself walked up to the agents and shot them from close range, from one foot or point blank range, they could nevertheless believe beyond a reasonable doubt under the state of the evidence that the defendant helped the person who did and the government is not required under the law in the eighth circuit to prove that this defendant actually pulled the trigger if the defendant is responsible in aiding and abetting. There is evidence to show circumstantial evidence by his contact both before and after the offense to prove that he aided and abetted those who were involved with him. (Tr. at 4929-30)


The (District) court gave the jury four instructions on aiding and abetting. Instruction Number 38 explained: ”The burden is on the Government to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, not only that the offenses were committed as alleged in the indictment, but that the defendant was the person who committed them, or aided and abetted the person or persons who committed them. (8th Circuit opinion)


On direct appeal this court, in outlining the evidence, stated: ”Viewed in the light most favorable to the government, the strongest evidence that Peltier committed or aided and abetted the murders is as follows . . . .“ 585 F.2d at 319 (footnote omitted).

The foregoing discussion establishes beyond question that from the beginning of this case through its submission to the jury (1) the government pursued alternative theories -- that Peltier either himself directly killed the two agents, or aided and abetted others in doing so, (2) the defense was fully aware of these alternative theories and unsuccessfully attempted to compel the government to elect between them, and (3) the district court recognized the alternative theories and charged the jury in accordance with them.


Peltier contends that by stating ”we can‘t prove who shot those agents,“ government counsel conceded that the government had not proved that Peltier personally shot the FBI agents, and that he thereby recognized that the only basis for supporting Peltier’s conviction was that he aided and abetted the murders.


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


It is unmistakable that Aiding and Abetting, from the very beginning, was not only on the table but integral to the prosecution. 


What Sharp is accomplishing by his public campaigning is only harming his client by repeating claims that have been consistently rejected. In other words, he risks becoming just another shill promoting the tired and threadbare Peltier myth and folklore. No mystery, no secrets, no magic, yet the provable falsehood is repeated as if saying it enough times will make it true. 


Sharp is hamstrung because he is unable, and by inference, unwilling, to tell the truth and the whole story. Either way, it would be devastating to Peltier and the alleged ‘political prisoner’ narrative.[vi]


“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”

Ed Woods



With cover letter via FedEx



Including, among others: alleged 60 murders of AIM members, killing of Joe Stuntz, Peltier extradition from Canada, the .223 shell casing and FBI Laboratory teletype, referencing the discredited James H. Reynolds, misrepresenting the Myrtle Poor Bear episode and alleged Constitutional violations.


William M. Kunstler, Eric A. Seitz, Lawrence W. Schilling, Ramsey Clark, and Bruce “I’ll take the Fifth” Ellison.

[iv] Kevin Sharp publicly demeans former federal judges who heard and ruled on Peltier’s case:

[v] United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, 997 F.2d 461, 1993 U.S. App. Decision July 7, 1993, Filed


Dispelling the spurious claim and myth that Peltier is a political prisoner.