WRITE A LETTER to support Leonard Peltier's parole hearing--July 2009

Leonard Peltier's first full parole hearing was held in 1993, atwhich time his case was continued for a 15-year reconsideration. On Wednesday, it was announced (in Portland, OR) that Mr. Peltier hasrecently applied for and been granted a parole hearing. The hearingis scheduled for July 27, 2009. All supporters are encouraged tostep up their efforts in support of parole for Leonard Peltier.

Letters in Support of Parole

It is really important that everyone write letters in support ofLeonard's petition for parole. These letters can be quite simpleand should cover the basic points important for parole decisions. Asample letter follows. Feel free to use it, but know that it's evenbetter if you write one in your own words. Be courteous and concise.

Get as many people to sign similar letters, as well. Carry a sheaf ofspare letters with you. Get one signature per letter, that is, ratherthan using a petition format. Mail them to the Parole Commission,but also send copies to the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee(contact information below).

Guidelines for General Supporters

First, we ask that you sign the online athttp://www.msplinks.com/http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/parole2008/.

Next, draft correspondence to the U.S. Parole Commission. A sampleletter follows.

Sample Letter

United States Parole Commission5550 Friendship BoulevardSuite 420Chevy Chase, MD 20815-7286(Insert Date)

Re: LEONARD PELTIER #89637-132
Dear Commissioners,

Convicted in connection with the deaths on June 26, 1975, ofRonald Williams and Jack Coler, agents of the Federal Bureau ofInvestigation, Mr. Leonard Peltier remains imprisoned at the UnitedStates Penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

The court record in this case clearly shows that governmentprosecutors have long held that they do not know who killed Mr. Colerand Mr. Williams nor what role Leonard Peltier "may have" playedin the tragic shoot-out.

Further, in a decision filed by the 8th Circuit Court of Appealson December 18, 2002, Mr. Peltier's sentences "were imposed inviolation of [Peltier's] due process rights because they were basedon information that was false due to government misconduct," and,according to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, in 2003: ".Muchof the government's behavior at the Pine Ridge Reservation and itsprosecution of Leonard Peltier is to be condemned. The governmentwithheld evidence. It intimidated witnesses. These facts are notdisputed."

Despite these admissions, Leonard Peltier has served over 33 yearsin prison.

After careful consideration of the facts in Leonard Peltier's case,I have concluded that Leonard Peltier does not represent a risk tothe public. First, Leonard Peltier has no prior convictions and hasadvocated for non-violence throughout his prison term. Furthermore,Leonard Peltier has been a model prisoner. He has received excellentevaluations from his work supervisors on a regular basis. Hecontinues to mentor young Native prisoners, encouraging them tolead clean and sober lives. He has used his time productively,disciplining himself to be a talented painter and an expressivewriter. Although Leonard Peltier maintains that he did not killthe agents, he has openly expressed remorse and sadness overtheir deaths.

Most admirably, Mr. Peltier contributes regular support to thosein need. He donates his paintings to charities including batteredwomen's shelters, half way houses, alcohol and drug treatmentprograms, and Native American scholarship funds. He also coordinatesan annual holiday gift drive for the children of the Pine RidgeIndian Reservation.

Leonard Peltier is widely recognized for his good deeds and inturn has won several awards including the North Star FrederickDouglas Award; Federation of Labour (Ontario, Canada) Humanist ofthe Year Award; Human Rights Commission of Spain InternationalHuman Rights Prize; and 2004 Silver Arrow Award for LifetimeAchievement. Mr. Peltier also has been nominated for the NobelPeace Prize six times.

Leonard Peltier is now over 60 years of age-a great-grandfather-andsuffers from partial blindness, diabetes, a heart condition, andhigh blood pressure.

I recognize the grave nature of the events of June 26, 1975,and I extend my deepest sympathy to the families of those whodied that day. However, I find aspects of this case to also be ofconcern and I believe Leonard Peltier deserves to be reunited withhis family and allowed to live the remaining years of his life inpeace. I also believe that, rather than presenting a threat to thepublic, Mr. Peltier's release would help to heal a wound that haslong impeded better relations between the federal government andAmerican Indians.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely yours,


(Your Name)
(Your Street Address)
(Your City, State, and Zip Code)

As with any professional correspondence, your support letter
shouldbe on letterhead (if you have Microsoft Word or another similarprogram you can easily create professional-looking letterhead froma template). The letterhead should include all of your contactinformation including your name, address, phone number(s) and e-mailaddress if applicable.
Discuss Leonard's positive attitude and, despite his innocence,the fact that he has openly expressed remorse and sadness over thedeaths that occurred on June 26, 1975.
Finish your support letter by telling the Parole Board how youwill support Leonard once he is granted parole. Your support mightbe financial, such as a place to live, use of a vehicle, or helpfinding job offers. Your support can also be emotional such asproviding advice and encouragement.

IMPORTANT NOTE TO ALL SUPPORTERS: When you write a letter in supportof Leonard's parole, mail the letter directly to the U.S. ParoleCommission, but also please send a copy of your correspondence to
the Peltier Legal Team, c/o LP-DOC, P.O. Box 7488, Fargo, ND 58106. Time to set him free... Because it is the RIGHT thing to do.

Friends of Peltier