Friday, March 31, 2023


Appeals: Errors of Law


Dear Supporters:


Peltier’s pro bono attorney and former federal judge, Kevin H. Sharp, is suffering under the weight of his own inconsistent and purposefully agenda-driven rants. 


Sharp’s fallback position in many public ramblings is quoting appellate statements from Assistant U.S. Attorney, Lynn Crooks before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. However, therein lies the fallacy of deliberately ignoring a fundamental and obvious cornerstone of the criminal justice system. 


There is a crucial factor that Sharp desperately wants uninformed Peltier supporters, and his client—the convicted brutal double-murderer Peltier—to overlook; not only to dismiss, but to completely disregard. Sharp plays the look-over-here game, ignoring a fundamental fact that he cannot deny, avoid or refute.


Sharp’s quoting of AUSA Crooks was accurate, but irrelevant. 


Sharp would have to agree that post-conviction, Peltier’s many attorneys appealed what they believed were either constitutional violations or trial errors that could result in either overturning his conviction or remanding for retrial. None of their efforts were successful, but for one issue, the Freedom of Information release of the October 2, 1975 FBI Laboratory Teletype. That subject went through the courts five (5) times before it was ultimately dismissed by the Eighth Circuit. One of many other attempts was the appellate court dismissing an appeal that was “fatally flawed.” That appeal was the result of an “unartfully phrased” appellate statement made by AUSA Crooks, which is not unlike the distraction Sharp continues to promote today. 


But Sharp, as he has done, would only dismiss these court decisions, and specifically the judges who made them, with his slanderous public claim that implied the decisions were corrupt.[i]


Throughout the lengthy appellate history, and even to an issue unrelated to Peltier’s conviction, and in a different Court of Appeals; as late as November 4, 2003, the Tenth Circuit came to the same obvious conclusion: “Previous federal court decisions provided the (Parole) Commission with ample facts to support its conviction that Mr. Peltier personally shot Agents Coler and Williams.” And, “As the Eighth Circuit recognized, ‘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.’” 


Anything post-conviction is legally academic relative to the more than twenty-two appeals that followed. Those appeals were designed to find something, anything, that would sustain the pursuit to find some relief for their client. 


However, there was an endpoint, that for obvious reasons escapes Sharp. Beyond April 18, 1977, after watching and hearing all the evidence, the jury came to their own inescapable conclusion; Peltier was guilty of murdering Agents’ Coler and Williams. That fact is undisputed.


What Sharp is attempting to do is alter the conviction by fantasizing that anything AUSA Crooks may have said during the appeals has any relevance or meaningful effect on the jury’s decision.


The appeals, regardless of what AUSA Crooks said, does not alter the outcome. As Sharp should understand, the appeals are designed in an effort to find errors of law, not facts


That obvious and fundamental principle escapes Sharp, albeit, deliberately, as he attempts to go back in time and alter the facts.


Sharp’s disinformation is a dishonest attempt to confuse Peltier supporters, and engender undeserved sympathy, by wrongfully inferring that anything stated post-conviction would change the guilty verdict or the conviction.


More to follow.  


“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”

Ed Woods

[i] Kevin H. Sharp, 2/15/2023, “There were evidentiary rulings that appear to be, from someone who made a lot of evidentiary rulings from the federal bench (referring to his own six years as a federal judge), slanted so that the prosecutor got the upper edge.” Sharp does not qualify this public statement. He is stating that the judges’ decisions were deliberately made to favor the government over Peltier’s interests. There is no other way to interpret or lessen his traduced plain language; “slanted so that the prosecutors got the upper edge.” For further background see NPPA Blogs, available from the homepage, : 1/31/22, 2/21/22, 4/2/22, 8/14/22, 10/7/22, 11/26/22, 3/11/23, 3/22/23, 3/24/23.