Map cutout from "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse" by Peter Matthiessen



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The Case of Leonard Peltier:
Evidence and Documentation of a Wrongful Conviction

Court Records
Testimony
Formerly Concealed FBI Documents

Recent FOIA Requests

Understanding Deletions
in FBI Documents
Chapter 1 - The COINTELPRO Papers:
Documents from the FBI's Secret Wars Against Dissent in the United States by Ward Churchill & Jim Vander Wall

The FBI Files

File

FOIA Status Report (1988)

File

Events Before June 26th

File

Investigation & Cover-Up

File

The Other Suspects

File

Butler-Robideau Trial

File

Peltier Extradition

File

Peltier Trial

File

Pre-Sentencing Statement

File

Post Conviction

File

Second Parole Hearing

File

Letters of Support

Other Reference Material

File

Audio Recording:
2002 Parole Hearing

File

Published Information



Table of Contents

Introduction

File

Case of Leonard Peltier: Statement of Facts

--- Document Linking: Work in Progress --- Some Sections Completed


Section I: The FBI and the American Indian Movement

File

(1)

May 4, 1973 FBI Airtel titled "American Indian Movement (AIM) Extremist Matters" from then FBI director ordering full investigations of "aim's activities, leaders, membership, and finances" through the use of informants.

File

(2)

Excerpt from a January 1, 1973 FBI Airtel from then FBI director encouraging investigations of individuals involved with AIM, despite "lack of violence by these chapters or individuals."

File

(3)

Excerpt from an FBI teletype which notes that the prosecution of AIM members involved with Wounded Knee will "greatly contribute to inhibiting their activities...."

File

(4)

July 8, 1975 memorandum which refers to a previous June 5, 1975 memorandum dealing with AIM "bunkers" on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The bunkers referred to were actually the Jumping Bull family's storage cellars. Agents Coler and Williams had in their possession a map which labeled the storage cellars as "bunkers" on the day of the shoot-out.

File

(5)

FBI document which states that investigations of AIM and affiliated organizations "may create relevant danger to a few citizen's privacy and free expression...."

File

(6)

FBI document which refers to Peltier as a "Manager" of AIM. (In 1972 police officers in plain clothes provoked Peltier into a confrontation by taunting him with racial jeers. Soon after, he was arrested by the officers, beaten, and charged with attempted murder. He later went to trial and was acquitted. The officer's girlfriend told the jury that the officer had shown her a picture of Peltier, and bragged that he was going to "help the FBI get a big one" prior to the incident.)

File

(7)

April 24, 1975 FBI memorandum titled, "the use of special agents of the FBI in a paramilitary law enforcement operation in the Indian Country."


Section II: The Pine Ridge "Reign of Terror"

File

(1)

List of traditionalists murdered between 1973 and 1976.

File

(2)

July 9, 1975 report written by William Muldrow of the United States Civil Rights Commission regarding law enforcement misconduct on Pine Ridge after the shoot-out.

File

(3)

March 31, 1976 report written by Dr. Shirley Hill Witt and William F. Muldrow of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, titled "Events Surrounding Recent Murders on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota."

File

(4)

Testimony of Kevin McKiernan, Freelance Journalist, formerly of NPR, during a May 17, 2000 Congressional Briefing sponsored by Congressman John Porter. Mr. McKiernan covered incidents at Pine Ridge during the "Reign of Terror."

File

(5)

Excerpt from an interview done by Kevin McKiernan with Duane Brewer, a former GOON.

Windows MediaPlayer

QuickTime Player

Video Clip: View an interview from by Kevin McKiernan with Duane Brewer, from "The Spirit of Crazy Horse," a 1990 PBS Documentary

File

(6)

Testimony of Deborah White Plume, resident of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and survivor of a GOON shooting. Testimony given during May 17, 2000 Congressional Briefing sponsored by Congressman Porter.


Section III: Letter from Judge Heaney, Eighth Circuit Court

File

(1)

[April 1991] Letter from Judge Heaney endorsing a commutation of Peltier's sentence. Judge Heaney denied Peltier a new trial in 1986. This is Judge Heaney's October 2000 letter affirming his position as stated in his previous letter.


Section IV: The Butler/Robideau Trial

File

(1)

A comparison of the Peltier trial to the Butler/Robideau trial.

File

(2)

Excerpt from a December 4, 1990 interview by Michael Apted with Mr. Bolin, Jury foreman of the Butler/Robideau trial. Mr. Bolin addresses the issue of self-defense.

File

(3)

July 20, 1976 FBI teletype outlining circumstances which the FBI believed to be the cause of the government's loss of the Butler/Robideau case. Soon after, Peltier's trial was mysteriously transferred to a different judge who made rulings in accordance with this memo.


Section V: The Myrtle Poor Bear Episode (Pages 40-62)

File

(1)

Contradicting Poor Bear affidavits (three affidavits were obtained, one of which directly contradicted the others. The contradicting affidavit was initially concealed):

a.

February 19, 1976 affidavit stating Peltier confessed to her that he shot the agents (this affidavit withheld from the court)

b.

February 23, 1976 affidavit stating she witnessed Peltier shoot agents

c.

February 31, 1976 affidavit stating she witnessed Peltier shoot the agents, including more details

File

(2)

April 20, 1976 FBI Airtel stating that Canadian Prosecutor, Paul Halprin (representing the U.S. in Peltier's extradition), met with the FBI and the RCMP on February 10, 1976. During this meeting Halprin refused to present murder charges against Peltier to the court, and did so only after "considerable pressure." Halprin had argued that there was not enough evidence against Peltier to extradite. One week later, the FBI obtained the Poor Bear affidavits.

File

(3)

May 29, 1979 FBI teletype blaming Halprin for the concealment of contradicting affidavit.

File

(4)

May 11, 1977 affidavit of Myrtle Poor Bear stating that previous affidavits were false and signed under duress as a result of FBI coercion and intimidation.

File

(5)

Transcript from oral arguments in which Judge Ross chastises the government for the Myrtle Poor Bear episode. (Eighth Circuit - Direct Appeal - 1978).


Section VI: Coercion of Witnesses (Pages 63-64)

File

(1)

Affidavit from private investigator, Eda Gordon stating that interviews with trial witnesses confirmed FBI coercion.


Section VII: Formerly Concealed Ballistics Evidence (Pages 65-69)

File

(1)

April 10, 1976 FBI teletype stating that FBI does not "intend to make the notes and writings of FBI and other experts available to the defense."

File

(2)

October 2, 1975 FBI teletypes stating that .223 casings not compatible with "Wichita AR 15," the gun tied to Peltier at trial.


Section VIII: The agents followed a red pick-up truck onto the scene --- not the red and white van tied to Peltier at trial). (Pages 70-78)

File

(1)

Excerpt from statement of Clarence Kelley, FBI Director given during a July 1, 1975 news conference, in which he emphasizes a search for the "red pick-up."

File

(2)

Formerly withheld report of interview with FBI agent Gary Adams who reports hearing Agent Williams say they were following a "pick-up" over the radio just prior to the shoot-out.

File

(3)

Radio transcript from shoot-out in which Agent Adams reports a pick-up truck entering and leaving the scene. During the Butler/Robideau trial, Adam's testimony corroborated the transcript. However, during the Peltier trial, Adams denied he ever reported a red pick-up truck entering and leaving the scene.

File

(4)

Excerpt from interview by Michael Apted with Mr. Bolin, the jury foreman in the Butler/Robideau trial, addressing the issue of the red pick-up truck.


Section IX: 6,589 FBI Documents Still Being Withheld (Page 79)

File

(1)

Letter from Chief Freedom of Information Privacy Acts Section Records Management Division stating that the 6,589 FBI documents remain secret.


Section X: The Government Does Not Know Who Killed the Agents (Page 80)

File

(1)

Quotes from court records.


Section XI: Peltier Singled Out as a Scapegoat (Pages 81-98)

File

(1)

Formerly withheld FBI document stating the need to "develop information to lock Peltier....into this case."

File

(2)

Formerly withheld FBI memorandum states FBI's intention to drop charges against Jimmy Eagle "so that the full prosecutive weight of the Federal Government could be directed against Leonard Peltier." Other FBI documents show that the case against Eagle was no less weak than the case against Peltier.

File

(3)

Excerpt from a Motion for a New Trial filed by the defense subsequent to the release of FOIA documents, describing formerly concealed evidence proving that several other suspects existed.

File

(4)

Formerly concealed FBI teletype stating that Leroy Casados drove a 1975 International Scout (matching one of the vehicle descriptions involved with shoot-out), and was staying in a home where William's gun, an AR 15, and one 20-round .223 caliber magazine were found, among other evidence.


Section XII: Peltier's Health Status (Pages 91-102)

File

(1)

Letter from Dr. Peter Basch who, after examining Peltier's medical records, concluded that Peltier is at risk for stroke, heart disease, kidney failure and blindness.

File

(2)

Urgent appeal from the United States Special Rapporteur on Torture regarding denial of proper medical treatment to Leonard Peltier.


Section XIII: Peltier Overdue for Parole (Page 103)

File

(1)

Document of the US Parole Commission stating that Peltier became eligible for release after 188 months (almost 16 years) of imprisonment. This document also shows that Peltier had "no previous countable convictions."


Section XIV: Letters of Support (Pages 105-129)

File

(1)

Press release from Amnesty International

File

(2)

Letter from Archbishop Desmond Tutu

File

(3)

Letter signed by the Executive Committee of the National Congress of American Indians

File

(4)

Letter from Coretta Scott King

File

(5)

Letter from Don Edwards, former Congressman, former FBI agent (PDF)

File

(6)

Letters from members of Congress

File

(7)

List of prominent supporters


Current and Past Supporters of Justice for Leonard Peltier

PDF File of Supporters

Click here for complete listing in PDF format