Wednesday

More commutations are expected from President Obama on his last day in office, but one high-profile name will not be on the list

The Department of Justice dashed the hopes of Peltier, his family and supporters in a terse email sent to his lawyer Wednesday afternoon.

"The application for commutation of sentence of your client, Mr. Leonard Peltier, was carefully considered in this Department and the White House, and the decision was reached that favorable action is not warranted. Your client's application was therefore denied by the President on January 18, 2017," it said.

"I am prepared to die here. I would prefer it be back at my home, but I'm a realistic about my chances," he told The News from the prison visiting room.

"I have my funeral all planned, I want a full ceremonial burial, with drumming, everything. Traditionally, it should be about three days," said Peltier, an Indian of Anishinabe, Dakota, and Lakota heritage who grew up among the Turtle Mountain Chippewa and Fort Totten Sioux Nations of North Dakota.

Peltier can apply for a commutation again in a year.

His next chance at parole is 2024, when he will be 79.


January 18, 2017 / Clemency denied!

U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Pardon Attorney Washington, D.C. 20530

January 18, 2017

Mr. Martin Garbus Attorney 3 Park Avenue New York, NY 10016-5902 Re: Mr. Leonard Peltier

Dear Mr. Martin Garbus:

The application for commutation of sentence of your client, Mr. Leonard Peltier, was carefully considered in this Department and the White House, and the decision was reached that favorable action is not warranted. Your client’s application was therefore denied by the President on January 18, 2017. Please advise your client accordingly.

Under the Constitution, there is no appeal from this decision. As a matter of well-established policy, we do not disclose the reasons for the decision in a clemency matter. In addition, deliberative communications pertaining to agency and presidential decision-making are confidential and not available under existing case law interpreting the Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act. Your client will become eligible to reapply for commutation one year from the date on which the President denied the current application.

Sincerely,

Responses to "Obama rejects clemency for Native American activist Peltier"

  1. What's new?
    Just because Mr Obama's not caucasian doesn't mean he's not WASICU.

  2. I am truly disappointed in President Obama's amazingly pathetic choice. He will pardon a person who spread info, but not Mr. Peltier. Lame as fuck.

  3. While a bit sad, I do understand why Peltier did not get any clemency. He was involved in a case where two FBI agents were murdered. He was even convicted for this crime and even if he had not done this, he did misbehave considerably.
    But what was worse was that he escaped prison in 1979 and managed to evade capture for several days before getting caught with a rifle! Thus NOT a model prisoner.
    Still, at age 72 it would have been nice if he could spend his last days in freedom. I can understand Obama's decision given the (false?) facts in this case, but I don't think he would harm anyone anymore...

  4. Anonymous says:

    I, like so many others were hopeful that B.O. would've done the right thing. I am disappointed. But not surprised. I probably would've been most surprised if he did grant him clemency. Prayers and strength and love and respect for you Mr. Peltier. One day you will be free from this world, free to fly with the eagles. And your life will be a lesson for our people for generations.

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