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Leonard Peltier #89637-132
U.S. Penitentiary - Leavenworth
P.O. Box 1000
Leavenworth, Kansas 66048-1000
July 21, 2003
Greetings Sisters, Brothers, Friends and Supporters,
I hope this letter finds you in excellent health and good spirits.
I want to thank you, friends, for your unwavering support. My feelings of happiness and love ... well, you can't know how good it feels to know that, after nearly 28 years, you're still with me. (smile) Thank you.
I have good news. Oral arguments will be heard on September 19, 2003, on an appeal to the United States 10th Circuit Court of Appeals of the denial of my 1999 Habeas Corpus petition. For the first time, my legal team will be able to argue in a circuit other than the one in which I was convicted and where every subsequent appeal has been denied. The legal team is further heartened by the 10th Circuit Court's decision to hear oral arguments in this appeal. We consider this an opportunity for a fair and objective review of my petition.
What is this appeal about? I seek to overturn the U.S. Parole Commission's refusal to even consider me for parole until December 2008. The normal Commission guideline for prisoners convicted of homicide offenses is 200+ months served. This means that I should have been released from prison over one decade ago. The Commission, however, has repeatedly refused to consider setting a parole date until 2008 -- when I will have served almost double the normal time. The Parole Commission explains its outrageous departure from its own guidelines by saying that I was involved in an "ambush" of the two FBI agents, and "executed" them at point blank range after the agents had been incapacitated. However, the Commission's argument is not supported by (1) my convictions, which the courts accept as having been based on an aiding and abetting theory; (2) other 8th Circuit Court of Appeals decisions on post-conviction petitions; and (3) the body of evidence before the Commission. The Commission's position is further undermined by the evidence exonerating me that the government improperly withheld at trial.
This appeal is not all we're working on. My legal team is examining all of the documents we've obtained from the U.S. government in the past year. We will, of course, continue our lawsuits to obtain the remaining documents still being withheld in my case. To find the evidence that will set me free, we hope to be able to use computers to analyze all of these documents. So, as you can see, there are other legal strategies we want to pursue should my Denver appeal be denied.
I can win my freedom, but I need your help to make it happen. We need funds for lawyers' travel expenses, materials development, public education efforts, event and public appearance costs, as well as for the purchase of hardware and software to assist with the document analysis project. A special fund has been established to meet these needs. Please partner with us to end the injustice. Contribute what you can. Throw down the blanket. No amount is too small. Please mail your donation to the
Leonard Peltier Defense Committee (LPDC)
P.O. Box 583
Lawrence, Kansas 66044-0583
Stand for justice! Bring me home.
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,