Bernie Sanders ‘Strongly’ Supports Releasing Leonard Peltier From Prison
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) “strongly” helps releasing Native American rights activist Leonard Peltier from jail, in response to a letter to a constituent obtained by HuffPost.
“As you know, Leonard Peltier has spent over 40 years of his life in prison despite the fact that the government has admitted they do not know who is responsible for the crime he was convicted of,” Sanders mentioned within the June 8 electronic mail. “Despite national and international campaigns to free Peltier, he remains incarcerated, where he continues to advocate for the rights of native peoples.”
“For this reason, I have and will continue to strongly support petitions for Leonard Peltier’s release,” Sanders concludes.
A constituent handed the letter to HuffPost. A Sanders spokesperson confirmed its legitimacy, however didn’t present additional touch upon the senator’s views on Peltier’s imprisonment.
The letter implies that Sanders is the fourth U.S. senator in latest months to advocate for President Joe Biden to provide clemency to the now-77-year-old, ailing activist and ship him residence. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) have individually and publicly known as on Biden to launch Peltier.
If you haven’t heard of Peltier, consider him as America’s longest-serving political prisoner — a fall man that the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office desperately wanted after failing to determine who murdered two FBI brokers in a 1975 shootout on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.
If you’ve gotten heard of Peltier, then you understand how problematic his imprisonment is: The blatant Seventies-era racism towards Indigenous those that he was up towards. The truth that each one of Peltier’s co-defendants had been acquitted primarily based on self-defense. The actuality that the FBI was not less than partly chargeable for the shootout that day. The admission of U.S. authorities officers that Peltier’s trial was so flawed he must be launched. The many years of outcry from Indigenous leaders, members of Congress, celebrities and human rights leaders, together with Pope Francis, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Coretta Scott King and Amnesty International, a company in any other case targeted on political prisoners in different international locations.
Today, the underside line is easy: An aged Indigenous man has been in jail for 46 years and by no means ought to have been there within the first place.
A White House spokesperson didn’t reply to a question about whether or not Biden is contemplating granting clemency to Peltier.
Here’s a duplicate of Sanders’ letter to his constituent: