by Leonard Peltier Concerning
the Federal Parole Commission Not Setting a Parole Date
Barry Bachrach, Peltier Attorney
January 11, 2004
Posted January 15, 2004
The habeas filed
by Leonard in the District of Colombia is extremely important to
Leonard. As requested, I am writing a summary of the position and why
it is a strong case.
Congress passed a sentencing reform act which ultimately provided for
the demise of the parole commissionand required the parole commission
to establish a firm date of release for all prisoners still within it
jurisdiction within five years of the effective date of the act. The
commission was required to set the date within the guidlines and
within enough time to give the prisoners an opportunity to appeal
from the date set by the commission. This statute became effective on
November 1, 1987, thus requiring the commission to establish a firm
date for parole within guidelines for Leonard prior to October 31,
Thus, under the
applicable statute, as of November 1,1992, the parole commission
would have been abolished and Leonard would have been given a release
date within guidelines which means he would have been entitled to be
released at 200 months, or Novermber 1992(200 months from 2/76).
Thirty six days after the statute became effective, congress amended
the statute and, as applicable here, the amendment omitted the
mandatory release date criteria and reinstated the parole commission
and its previously terminated discretion. The Congressional amendment
unconstitutionally violated Leonard's rights by Congress' enacting an
ex-post facto punishment and a bill of attainder.
In short, once
Congress mandated a release of those in Leonard's position within a
specific date within guidelines, Congress' subsequent repeal of that
statute and its thereby increasing the sentences of those in
Leonard's position constitutes a violation of Leonard's
Constitutional rights and means he has been unconstitutionally
incarcerated since 11/92. He should be immediately released. There is
strong law in Leonard's favor, we need to rallyaround this issue and
insure that the courts finally give Leonard the justice he is due.
Thanks, Barry Bachrach.
list via C.Camp