August 24th, 2009 | by Allison Ferre News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP

Local Supporters' Reaction to Denial of Parole to Leonard Peltier

Peltier in Prison, courtesy of spritoffreedom.org

Despite the optimism Leonard Peltier's legal team felt about his July 28 parole hearing, the US authorities denied the 64-year-old prisoner's parole last Friday. And local Peltier supporter Barbara Dills was upset by both the outcome, and how the verdict was made public.

"Not only was the news devastating, but the way the news leaked was insulting to everyone involved in Leonard's case," Dills said. "The announcement came from the US Attorney's office in Fargo, ND and hit the media before Peltier's attorney had even received notice of the decision."

The fairness of Peltier's original conviction has been a point of controversy, and several activist groups maintain his innocence. He has served 33 years in prison for the murder of two FBI agents and will not be eligible for parole again until July 2024 — when he will be 79.

Peltier's supporters have not given up.

Dills told WW back in July that despite the outcome of the parole hearing, Peltier attorney Eric Seitz would seek clemency for his client. Now, having been denied parole, a pardon by President Obama could be Peltier's final hope.

Seitz said in a radio interview that Peltier has "no chance" with the parole board, but that he will file a mandatory appeal, just to exhaust that channel.
 
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