“It would be very meaning ful (sic) to the Native American people and all of us ho (sic) have watched and been saddened by a broken system…”
—Actress Pamela Anderson, in a letter to President-elect Barack Obama advocating clemency for Leonard Peltier.
On July 28, 2009, Leonard Peltier was granted a parole board hearing, his first full hearing since 1993. Among those making a statement was former FBI Special Agent in Charge Joseph H. Trimbach. Here is what he said:
Also present at the Leonard Peltier Parole Hearing was Scott J. Schneider, Assistant US Attorney for the state of North Dakota, where the Peltier trial took place in 1977. Mr. Schneider carried with him a letter from Drew H. Wrigley, the US Attorney for North Dakota:
Peltier’s Perpetual Appeals
Perhaps no convicted murderer in U.S. History has appealed his case as many times as Peltier. Here is a mind-boggling summary of how sworn officers of the court have gummed up the docket sheet with virtually meaningless appeals.
Extradition from Canada
Peltier defenders have long maintained that he was improperly extradited to stand trial for murder. They claim, for example, that only two of the three Myrtle Poor Bear affidavits, used to show cause, were submitted and considered by the Canadian Court. This letter from the Canadian Minister of Justice to Attorney General Janet Reno sets the record straight:
Murder weapon identification
One of the most outrageous assertions promoted by the Peltier faithful is that the government never proved that Peltier’s weapon fired the fatal shots. Supporters cite a preliminary teletype from the FBI’s then Chief Firearms Identification Examiner, Special Agent Evan Hodge. The teletype’s wording created a false controversy that, unfortunately, fed the myth-making machine. This Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling tells the real story of what happened:
The FOIA farce
Peltier has frequently complained that the government has withheld several documents that somehow show his innocence. Peltier’s lawyers have never come close to proving such an argument, but that hasn’t stopped them from resorting to their favorite weapons of mass deception: paranoia and propaganda. (The Court called it “unsubstantiated conjecture.”) Here’s a clear example of much ado about nothing and how a convict with a lot of time on his hands is able to manipulate the system: