Friday, December 31, 2010

Rakaa (Dilated Peoples) Free Peltier Album Signing Event



LPDOC Oakland Chapter, PCG Productions, and Block Report Radio present...

Rakaa (Dilated Peoples) Free Peltier Album Signing Event

This event features special guests Rakaa of Dilated Peoples & Arievolution signing copies of the new album, Free Leonard Peltier: Hip Hop's Contribution to the Freedom Campaign. There will be a listening party for the new album, as well as food and drinks available.

Supporters are invited to voice their support for Leonard for a new documentary; filming will occur during the event. Also, the Free Peltier Album will be available for sale.

Monday, January 3, 2011
7:00 to 9:00 PM

Jinga Jinga
3347 1/2 43rd Place
Los Angeles, CA 90008

Friday, December 24, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Request for Prayers


Grandmother Roselyn Jumping Bull is in the hospital in Rapid City. Complications due to her diabetes. Her sugar level has dropped and has kidney complications.

Please remember her in your prayers.

You can send her a card:

Roselyn Jumping Bull
PO Box 207
Oglala, SD 57764

Friday, December 10, 2010

Prosecutorial Misconduct

CNN's Anderson Cooper and his panel take a look at a recent study on prosecutorial misconduct in California.

Federal prosecutors likely to keep jobs after cases collapse

Seal of the United States Department of Justice An article in USA TODAY's series "Misconduct at the Justice Department" uncovered 201 cases of federal prosecutorial misconduct since 1997 and found that federal prosecutors are unlikely to be fired when they commit misconduct.

Attorney General Eric Holder, who took over the Justice Department in 2009, has said the agency is moving to make sure it can more effectively prevent misconduct and better train prosecutors about the complex rules they must follow.

...

For years, however, says Joseph diGenova, a former U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C., the bottom line was that the government allowed lawyers "who should not be federal prosecutors to continue in that role. The record on discipline is very, very poor. The history of serious discipline is basically non-existent."

Almost two years after a baby girl near Tampa vanished, federal prosecutors charged her parents with conspiracy and lying to investigators. The prosecuting attorney told the grand jury that there were recordings of the girl's mother telling her husband: "The baby's dead and buried. ... The baby's dead no matter what you say - you just did it." But, everyone who heard the recordings quickly concluded that those statements were never uttered.

Although charges were dropped against the missing girl's parents and a Justice Department investigation concluded that the prosecutor broke rules and mishandled the case, he was allowed to continue with the agency to work on civil cases. He ultimately quit and relocated to Tallahassee where he works as a defense attorney.

Department records found during the newspaper's investigation suggest that similar mistakes usually result in a slap on the wrist and leave attorneys' records untarnished. Since the Justice Department can conceal its own prosecutorial misconduct investigations from the public, it's hard to know the full extent of the problem.

The Office of Professional Responsibility is tasked with investigating findings of prosecutorial misconduct, but most of its investigations have resulted in no punishment, with the agency concluding that misconduct was unintentional. And even when OPR learns of prosecutorial misconduct in a case, it doesn't necessarily look into the prosecutor's other cases to determine if it's a one-time occurrence or if there is a precedent for misconduct.


"Government lawyers are likely to view the conduct most favorably to other government lawyers," says Ellen Yaroshefsky, the head of Cardozo Law School's Jacob Burns Ethics Center in New York. She said an outside watchdog is needed. "It's human nature that you're going to give the person the benefit of the doubt, because it could be you next. There just needs to be an independent evaluation of allegations of misconduct."

Without stronger safeguards, this pattern of prosecutorial misconduct without consequences will continue.

Read the full article: http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/judicial/2010-12-08-prosecutor_N.htm

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Friday Call-In for Leonard Peltier

A year ago today, President Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize. Today's prize winner did not attend the ceremony -- human rights advocate Liu Xiaobo remains in a Chinese prison -- and Obama is pressuring China to release him.

Walk the talk, Mr. Obama. Release Leonard Peltier.

Call the White House at 202-456-1111 or -1112. Or call ...the switchboard at 202-456-1414 and ask to be connected to the comment line.

Do it and keep doing it until Leonard Peltier is released!

Barack Obama, 10 December 2010:

One year ago, I was humbled to receive the Nobel Peace Prize -- an award that speaks to our highest aspirations, and that has been claimed by giants of history and courageous advocates who have sacrificed for freedom and justice. Mr. Liu Xiaobo is far more deserving of this award than I was.

All of us have a responsibility to build a just peace that recognizes the inherent rights and dignity of human beings -- a truth upheld within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In our own lives, our own countries, and in the world, the pursuit of a just peace remains incomplete, even as we strive for progress.

This past year saw the release of Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, even as the Burmese people continue to be denied the democracy that they deserve. Nobel Laureate Jose Ramos Horta has continued his tireless work to build a free and prosperous East Timor, having made the transition from dissident to President. And this past year saw the retirement of Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu, whose own career demonstrates the universal power of freedom and justice to overcome extraordinary obstacles.

The rights of human beings are universal -- they do not belong to one nation, region or faith. America respects the unique culture and traditions of different countries. We respect China's extraordinary accomplishment in lifting millions out of poverty, and believe that human rights include the dignity that comes with freedom from want.

But Mr. Liu reminds us that human dignity also depends upon the advance of democracy, open society, and the rule of law. The values he espouses are universal, his struggle is peaceful, and he should be released as soon as possible. I regret that Mr. Liu and his wife were denied the opportunity to attend the ceremony that Michelle and I attended last year. Today, on what is also International Human Rights Day, we should redouble our efforts to advance universal values for all human beings.
Today is International Human Rights Day. Mark the day by working for Leonard Peltier's release.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dec. 16 in DC: Vigil / Standout for Leonard Peltier

Seal of the U.S. Department of the Interior, f...
Peltier Vigil / Standout
Across the street from the U.S. Department of the Interior, the site of the 2nd White House Tribal Summit
Thursday, December 16 · 7:00am - 5:00pm

We'll gather in Bolivar Park at 1849 C Street, NW, across the street from the U.S. Department of the Interior, the site of the 2nd White House Tribal Summit.

Map: http://tinyurl.com/328ro7s.

We're planning a sunrise ceremony and drum, outreach to tribal representatives, and visible support for Leonard Peltier's release. So bring your signs and banners and join us.

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Leonard Peltier Denied Eighth Amendment Rights

Leonard Peltier Denied Eighth Amendment Rights
Wednesday 08 December 2010
by: Dan Battaglia and Preston Randolph, t r u t h o u t


The Eighth Amendment in the US Constitution prohibits, among other things, cruel and unusual punishment of prisoners. This prohibition is the grounds for a lawsuit filed by federal inmate #89637-132, Leonard Peltier, who is considered by many worldwide to be a political prisoner. In 1977, Peltier was sentenced to two consecutive life terms for the deaths of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and remains incarcerated to this day, despite the fact that all evidence in his conviction has been debunked and proven fabricated.

Peltier has endured many hardships during his incarceration, but perhaps the most shocking and cruel is the inadequate medical treatment he has received at the hands of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP). The medical mistreatment affecting Mr. Peltier began in the early 1990s. Peltier had suffered from tetanus, and, consequently, from one of its known side effects – lockjaw.

It wasn't until 1995 that Peltier was referred to an oral surgeon by a dentist in the Leavenworth, Kansas US Penitentiary. Not soon thereafter, Peltier was transferred to a medical facility in Missouri where, in the first months of 1996, he was finally treated. It would take more than three surgeries to get Peltier to be able to chew and open his mouth to a certain extent. At one point, Peltier's mouth was frozen open by thirteen millimeters. Peltier's medical records clearly show that he was not supposed to return to Leavenworth until he was able to chew. Instead, Peltier was returned before he could successfully open and close his mouth. The premature transfer resulted in an enormous public outcry from his supporters worldwide. In addition, Peltier himself filed a lawsuit claiming that the BOP had violated his right to not be subject to cruel and unusual punishment. The lawsuit was dismissed along with his subsequent appeal.

Peltier has also faced medical mistreatment with regard to his diabetes. It is common knowledge in the medical field that if more than one person uses the same electronic diabetes test kit, the results can be somewhat inaccurate. Peltier, now in his sixties, asked for permission to get his own testing kit. He was denied his request. This denial resulted in a massive uproar by Peltier supporters. Many, including myself, called the prison (Lewisburg USP) where Peltier was and still is incarcerated, demanding that he be allowed to have his own testing kit. We went as far as to offer to buy it for him, but our offer was also denied. It was only after a significant period of time had gone by, calls to the warden had been made and numerous other proactive actions had been taken that the BOP finally permitted Peltier to have his own private testing kit.

Last year, Peltier began experiencing symptoms synonymous with those of prostate cancer. Due to his family's medical history, his new illness became an immediate cause for concern. After being urged by Peltier's attorneys to address these symptoms, the BOP finally agreed to perform a standard blood test in June of 2010. It took four months to get the results to Peltier. As it stands now, there is a chance that he may have prostate cancer. The cure rate is known to be high only if the patient was diagnosed early in the stages of the cancer itself. Peltier first began to see warning signs just over a year ago, but since it has taken the "powers that be" over a year to fully look into his condition, his health may now be in serious jeopardy. This negligence, combined with the extreme medical neglect he has experienced in the past, only furthers the position of those that have long held that this six-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee should be released immediately.

According to Dr. Norma Bowe of Kean University, who holds a Ph.D. in community health policy and has worked for many years teaching college level health education courses to inmates in New Jersey's state prisons, "There are standards of practice for care, and waiting a year when a person is symptomatic does not meet those standards. A delay of four months in the processing of lab tests in cases of prostate cancer can result in an increased chance of metastasis. Delaying these tests is nothing short of negligence."

On the other hand, it should be noted that not everyone within the BOP has been spiteful to Leonard Peltier. In the course of the vast research for our current film, "Wind Chases the Sun," we were able to contact various prison officials who have come to know Peltier over the past thirty years and have witnessed firsthand the mistreatment of inmates behind prison walls. Retired BOP official Bruce Smith acknowledges the wrongdoings toward Peltier within the correctional system. "There is no doubt that Leonard has received inadequate health care in prison. I've witnessed it," said Smith. "I have seen inmates let die because they have not been properly treated." Ultimately, the root of Peltier's health problems, according to medical professionals within the BOP, stems from lack of treatment.

Bruce Smith worked at Leavenworth Federal Prison for nearly twenty years and speaks fondly of Peltier. "It's a crime that this guy's in prison. He could be doing so much more for his people on the outside," said Smith. Smith said one of his most notable memories is of the day Peltier abruptly stopped a riot in the making between the Native American and African-American inmates. This act of peace, according to Smith, is one of the many admirable and noble actions Peltier frequently carried out. "I think the world of Leonard and pray he gets out," said Smith.

Another BOP official, now retired, who asked that his name be withheld, concurred with Smith's position. With regard to Peltier's incarceration, he suggested, "The FBI is out for blood because their agents were killed. If he ever does get out, they'll never leave him alone." The retired officer added, "I've had the opportunity to view Peltier's case files, and I too think he was set up. He doesn't deserve to be in prison." This is a reality Peltier has learned to accept; however, despite the grim outlook, Peltier and his millions of supporters worldwide refuse to stop fighting for his freedom. This battle will continue to be extremely difficult and may even seem unwinnable to some. In addition, Peltier's situation is further complicated by his current health status.

Former BOP Officer Smith concludes, "What's wrong is wrong and what's right is right. What is happening to Leonard is wrong."

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Peltier court record doesn't lie: "We don't know who shot those agents."


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
06 December 2010
Contact: Delaney Bruce, Legal Team Liaison, Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee, PO Box 7488, Fargo, ND 58106, USA; Telephone: 1-701-235-2206; contact@whoisleonardpeltier.info

Peltier court record doesn't lie: "We don't know who shot those agents."

In three recent cases unrelated to the shooting deaths of two FBI agents in 1975, Darlene "Kamook" Ecoffey has claimed that she once heard Leonard Peltier say he shot the agents. Peltier denies the accusation and maintains his innocence. Wrongfully convicted, Peltier has been imprisoned for 35 years, currently at a federal prison in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

"The lynchpin of the prosecution's case, the AR-15 rifle that caused the agents' fatal injuries, was found to be incompatible with the bullet casing found at the scene. That means Peltier wasn't the shooter. It also means the government manufactured a 'murder weapon,'" said a spokesperson for the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee.

Ecoffey's critics note that her uncorroborated testimony conveniently matches exactly the prosecutorial theory presented at Peltier's 1977 trial.

Research shows that the human mind is not like a tape recorder; we neither record events exactly as we see them, nor recall them like a tape that has been rewound.

Ecoffey, a resident of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, was paid over $40,000 for her testimony by the FBI. The average annual income on the reservation is roughly $5,000.

Over the years, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice has been critical of the FBI's handling of informants and, in the notorious Deegan murder case, Congress found that the FBI tolerated and perhaps encouraged false testimony and protected informants from prosecution. The FBI had adopted an "ends justifies the means" approach to law enforcement. Four of the six defendants were innocent and the FBI knew it. Two of those men died in prison. The other two men spent over 30 years in prison. The FBI also ensured that the men would not obtain post-conviction relief and would die in prison.

"For 35 years, the FBI has presented false testimony about Leonard Peltier. It began with Myrtle Poor Bear. FBI agents terrorized Poor Bear until she produced not one but three false affidavits that were used to extradite Peltier from Canada to the United States."

Peltier supporters say a 'confession' is an all too familiar government ploy.

"The government produced a witness to claim that Peltier's co-defendant Robert Robideau 'confessed' to him in jail. The problem with his testimony was that he and Robideau had been jailed a thousand miles apart. Another witness also testified to hearing a 'confession'—a claim disproved by his landlady who testified that the witness made up his story to get out of trouble with the law."

Robert Robideau and another co-defendant were acquitted by reason of self-defense.

"Peltier's actions in 1975 were no different than those of his co-defendants. Twice, before the appellate court, Prosecutor Lynn Crooks stated, 'We don't know who shot those agents.' The government has admitted that it 'did not and cannot prove' Peltier’s guilt or what role he 'may have played' in the 1975 incident. The FBI's intention is clear. With Ecoffey's help, the government hopes to re-write history."

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US Versus Leonard Peltier: Evidence of a Wrongful Conviction. From the files of the Federal Bureau of Investigation:

http://www.whoisleonardpeltier.info/download/CriticalFBIDocs.pdf.