Mr Obama Please Free Leonard Peltier

Christy Walsh, a victim of a miscarriage of justice, appeals on behalf of Leonard Peltier, unjustly imprisoned for more than forty years.

The Leonard Peltier Defence Committee is calling on everyone to write to President Obama: The Committee says that: “President Obama has asked more than once that we show him the support for Leonard Peltier's freedom.” 

There has been a long tradition of solidarity between Native American Indians and the Irish and Leonard Peltier’s case is a worthy one and his release is long overdue. I am laying out a brief summary of Leonard Peltier’s case and have included the relevant links at the end.

Leonard Peltier is an Native American who was convicted for the deaths of two FBI agents killed during a 1975 shoot-out on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. He has spent over 40 years in jail.

Pine Ridge had been at the centre of Native American agitation during the 1970’s. The Wounded Knee occupation of 1973 marked the beginning of a three-year period of political violence on the Reservation. By 1975 as many as 60 Native Americans had been killed by vigilantes supplied with information from the FBI.

On June 26, 1975 two FBI agents in unmarked cars followed a pick-up truck onto the Jumping Bull ranch. It is unknown who fired the first shots resulting in a fierce gun battle involving more than150 FBI Agents and vigilantes. FBI records indicated that over 40 Native Americans participated in the gun fight in which the 2 agents and 1 Native American had been killed. 

The Native American, Joseph Stuntz, was shot in the head by a sniper’s bullet. Mr. Stuntz’s death was never investigated.

Two Native Americans, Bob Robideau, Darrell Butler were found not guilty by a jury in Iowa. The jury concluded that their participation in the gun battle was justified given the climate of fear that existed on the Pine Ridge Reservation. To this day the US Government acknowledge that it does not know who kill the 2 FBI Agents.

Leonard Peltier was extradited from Canada on strength of questionable evidence from 3 alleged eye witnesses. The witnesses all alleged that they had been threatened and coerced by the FBI. However none of the witnesses claimed to have witnessed Leonard Peltier kill anyone. When Leonard Peltier was put on trial, in North Dakota, none of the alleged witnesses were allowed to testify at his trial. And, unlike with the Robideau/Butler trial in Iowa, evidence regarding violence on Pine Ridge was severely restricted.

Judge Heaney, who later denied Leonard Peltier a new trial, has since voiced firm support for Mr. Peltier’s release, stating that the FBI used improper tactics to convict Mr. Peltier, the FBI was equally responsible for the shoot-out, and that Mr. Peltier's release would promote healing with Native Americans.

In addition Leonard Peltier is considered by Amnesty International, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, National Congress of American Indians, the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Rev. Jesse Jackson, among many others, to be a political prisoner who should be immediately released. 

The following are links to Amnesty International action page on behalf of Leonard Peltier:

Take Action: Ask President Obama to Grant Leonard Clemency 

Take Action: Download a 1 page action sheet 

Take Action: Grant Clemency to Leonard Peltier

Read More: Download the Issue Brief on Leonard Peltier’s case 

Read more here

You can view a video on the ILPDC home page. 

Or the full video.  .


  1. Information from the Facebook page for Annie Mae (commented to you with page permission)

    Leonard has been in prison for 40 years because he was proven guilty of killing another human being. His complicity in the execution of Annie Mae Pictou Aquash is a well known documented fact along with the American Indian Movement's cover up of her murder for almost three decades. Leonard bragged about shooting one of the agents to Annie Mae shortly after he shoved a gun in her mouth and interrogated her for being an informant . This would begin the badjacketing campaign that would end her life with the leadership and Leonard's knowledge and facilitation. Leonard is exactly where he belongs; his own cousin Robideau admitted he was exactly where he belonged. Educate yourselves folks and do a little research and don't get caught up in the lemming dive off the cliff. Expand your questions to the peripheral group of AIM and Leonard supporters and the truth will reveal itself. Justice for Annie Mae

    Please read this entry:

    I don't think you even have to have a Facebook account to view it. Thanks.

  2. Saoirse

    Thanks for that. I have read what you have directed me to and it does not amount to be as irrefutable as the author claims. It is a sorry story none-the-less and is comparable to many similar accounts closer to home where families do not have answers about who killed a family member. We could compare Denise Pictou Maloney's account of Leonard Peltier having killed her mother to recent claims made by an informer about Gerry A having ordered Denis Donaldson to be murdered -some people will believe it because they do not like Gerry A but that does not make the informers claims true. In both cases unsubstantiated claims have been made -and that is not a basis on which to convict anyone.

    Whatever one thinks of Leonard's involvement in the agents death -innocent or guilty -on one hand there is sufficient evidence questioning the safety of his conviction and on the other -this happened at a time of political turmoil and tension and Leonard has spent 40 years in prison -his continued imprisonment is now only serving vengeance and not justice.