The recent denial of parole for Leonard Peltier by the US parole commission a few weeks ago got me thinking about injustice and whether the wrongfully convicted ever really see justice. In Leonard’s case I have an ugly feeling that it’s never going to happen. This is a man who had key evidence withheld at his trial, witnesses intimidated into speaking against him and an FBI determined to put someone away at all costs.
While reading up on Leonard’s case I found myself being reminded of Rubin Hurricane Carter who spent nearly 20 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, he was later freed when evidence of police corruption and racism surfaced. Unfortunately Leonard has not been that successful even though there was jurisdictional malpractice in his case and a great deal of racism on the part of the justice system and the FBI.
The FBI’s consistent excuse for withholding key evidence was that there was a threat to national security. What boggles the mind is how a case like Leonard’s involves national security? Smokescreen? That’s what it looks like, the evidence against the government agency clearly shows misconduct on their part.
So how do you fight this, how do you bring justice to Leonard Peltier? A man who has, according to the evidence, done nothing wrong and has spent 33 years in prison. How do you fight a justice system that claims to be blind but is clearly not?
Flag of the American Indian Movement (AIM)
There is evidence that the FBI was involved in supplying guns to Dick Wilson’s goons who then went about intimidating, raping and murdering traditionalists who were fighting to keep their ways from being destroyed by a government determined to wipe them out of existence.
The American Indian Movement (AIM) has been fighting for decades trying to win some sort of equality in the United States but the road has been a tough one. Since its founding AIM has led protests advocating Indigenous American interests, inspired cultural renewal, monitored police activities and coordinated employment programs in cities and in rural reservation communities across the United States. AIM has often supported other indigenous interests outside the United States as well.
So for the time being Leonard Peltier will spend more time behind bars because of a justice system that won’t admit to the gross miscarriage of justice done by the FBI. Until it does, Leonard will sit in a tiny little cell awaiting the next chapter in this long tragic tale.