Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

January 30, 2022

Democracy Now Today: Peltier has COVID: His Lawyer -- Former Federal Judge -- Calls for Prison Release

Democracy Now! Today

Jailed 77-year-old Native American activist Leonard Peltier has tested positive for COVID-19 less than a week after describing his prison conditions as a “torture chamber.” Peltier was convicted of aiding and abetting the killing of two FBI agents during a shootout on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation in 1975 while a member of the American Indian Movement. He has long maintained his innocence and is considered by Amnesty International as a political prisoner. We speak with his lawyer and former federal judge Kevin Sharp, who says Peltier’s case was riddled with misconduct, including witness intimidation and withholding exculpatory evidence. Sharp argues Peltier’s health, age and unfair trial make him the perfect candidate for executive clemency. “The legal remedies are no longer available,” says Sharp on Peltier’s case. “Now it’s time for the [Bureau of Prisons] and the president of the United States to fix this and send him home.”
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