Native American activist Leonard Peltier has spent nearly 40 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Prosecutors and federal agents manufactured evidence against him (including the so-called “murder weapon”); hid proof of his innocence; presented false testimony obtained through torturous interrogation techniques; ignored court orders; and lied to the jury. People are commonly set free due to a single constitutional violation, but Peltier—innocent and faced with a staggering number of constitutional violations—has yet to receive equal justice.
Welcome to the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, the official communications resource on Leonard Peltier and his freedom campaign.
Join our Team. Volunteer to Help Bring Leonard Home!
Learn more about the Peltier case. Watch “Incident at Oglala,” a film produced and narrated by Robert Redford (Run Time: 90 Minutes).
Incident at Oglala
Incident at Oglala: The Leonard Peltier Story is available for purchase from Amazon.com, or you may locate a VHS tape or DVD at your favorite movie rental outlet. In addition, Amazon.com offers a downloadable, low-cost digital version. Restrictions apply.
We also endorse and recommend: Warrior: The Life of Leonard Peltier (Run Time: 85 Minutes).
WARRIOR The Life of Leonard Peltier
As it had done over a decade ago, the National Congress of American Indians (representative of over 500 Indian nations in the United States) unanimously passed an historic resolution on Mr. Peltier’s behalf in late 2011. See other recent expressions of support here or visit our archive of support statements (made prior to 2009) here. Recognizing that Leonard Peltier has been imprisoned for decades for a crime he did not commit, various other governments, dignitaries, and human rights organizations from around the world also have called for Leonard Peltier’s release.
On June 23, 1995, for example, Amnesty International (AI) submitted a letter of concern about the Peltier case to the U.S. Attorney General. With no executive review of the case forthcoming, in 1999, AI called for Leonard Peltier’s release. Before the U.S. Congress, in 2000, AI issued this statement:
“Amnesty International considers Leonard Peltier to be a political prisoner… Amnesty International believes that Leonard Peltier should be immediately and unconditionally released.”
In briefings to the United Nations since 1992, AI has actively pursued Leonard Peltier’s freedom. AI submitted a briefing to the U.N. Human Rights Committee in February 2006 (updated in early July 2006), in which AI again called for Leonard Peltier’s release. After the U.S. Parole Commission denied Peltier parole in August 2009, senior deputy director of Amnesty International-USA, Curt Goering, stated:
“Given that the case against Peltier unraveled years ago, his continued imprisonment is only protracting a grave miscarriage of justice… When you consider the concerns that plague the case… it is unconscionable that Leonard Peltier should continue to suffer behind bars. It is high time for the U.S. government to… right the wrongs of the past.”
Our work currently takes us in four directions:
- An award of Executive Clemency;
- A congressional investigation into the FBI’s misconduct in Indian Country, against the American Indian Movement and in the case of Leonard Peltier;
- An Executive Review by the Attorney General; and
- The release of tens of thousands of related case documents.
Please help. Any or all of these strategies may lead to Leonard’s release. Join with these and other Peltier supporters to secure the freedom of an innocent man.
Note: Much of the information contained on this site is derived from “In the Spirit of Crazy Horse” by the renowned author Peter Matthiessen. The book is the definitive work on the American Indian Movement (AIM) and the Peltier case. The author successfully defended against lawsuits brought by former Governor and Congressman William Janklow from South Dakota (convicted of manslaughter in 2003, jailed, and forced to resign his congressional seat in disgrace) and FBI Special Agent David Price in three different states, surviving an eight-year litigation. As acknowledged by the courts, Matthiessen’s “reputation for not being sensationalistic or scandalous is well known. He is a highly respected author and his works have received wide acclaim.”