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CHRONOLOGY OF THE LEONARD PELTIER CASE


 

 


 

LEONARD PELTIER CASE CHRONOLOGY - Part 5
2006 - 2010

LP case chronology part 1 (1944 - 1969)
LP case chronology part 2 (1970s & 1980s)
LP case chronology part 3 (1990s - 2003)
LP case chronology part 4 (2004 - 2005)

 

  • 23 January 2006: A Hearing has been scheduled for February 13, 2006 to correct the illegal sentencing that occurred in Leonard Peltier's case. The hearing will take place at 9:00 a.m. at the Thomas F. Eagleton Courthouse, Southeast Courtroom 27th Floor, 111 S. 10th Street in St. Louis, Missouri.

  • 6 February 2006: It is exactly 30 years ago that Leonard Peltier was arrested in Canada...

  • 13 February 2006: In a "standing room only" courtroom in St. Louis, Missouri, Mr. Peltier's attorneys argue Leonard's appeal to the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, relative to the District Court's denial of the Motion to Correct his Illegal Sentence. The Court greets both Peltier's attorneys and the government attorney with many questions concerning the key issues raised. After listening to the parties' arguments, the Court takes the case under advisement and a decision will most likely be rendered within the next three months.

  • 23 February 2006: The FBI can keep secret a handful of documents in the case of Leonard Peltier in the interest of national security, U.S. District Judge William Skretny rules in Buffalo,NY, rejecting efforts by Leonard's legal team for a glimpse at the 30-year-old records. Skretny issues the decision after reviewing some of the pages in private as part of a Freedom of Information request by the attorneys, fighting to have Peltier's 1977 conviction overturned. Attorney Michael Kuzma says he plans to appeal Skretny's ruling. "Plaintiff has not established the existence of bad faith or provided any evidence contradicting the FBI's claim that the release of these documents would endanger national security or would impair this country's relationship with a foreign government," the judge writes in his decision. "The pages we were most intrigued about, revolved around a teletype from Buffalo... a three-page document that seems to indicate that a confidential source was being advised by the FBI not to engage in conduct that would compromise attorney-client privilege," Kuzma says.

  • 28 April 2006: The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals rules that the U.S. government had the right to prosecute American Indian activist Leonard Peltier for crimes that occurred on a South Dakota reservation. In this latest appeal, Peltier's lawyers argued that federal courts have no jurisdiction over Indian land. In the summer of 2005, U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson ruled that the government has the right to prosecute and imprison anyone who kills federal agents, no matter where the crimes occur. The 8th Circuit Appeals Court now upholds Erickson's ruling. Barry Bachrach, Peltier's lawyer, says he is disappointed but that he is just going to keep moving forward with the issues to correct this injustice.

  • 17 June 2006: Peltier's legal team files a brief with the United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, NY. In this case, the legal team is seeking the production of FBI documents which the government is withholding on, among other grounds, national security. This is the first of several legal filings that have been prepared to require the FBI to produce the documents it has been withholding for over 30 years. Put simply: the U.S. government would not be fighting so hard to keep these documents secret unless it has something to hide!

  • 31 August 2006: On September 8, 2006 at 9:30 a.m., Barry A. Bachrach, Esq. and Michael Kuzma, Esq. will be arguing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan R. Nelson for the full release of all FBI files maintained by the Minneapolis Field Office relating to Leonard Peltier and RESMURS. The FBI reviewed 77,149 pages and released 66,594 pages in full or in part, however, 10,555 pages were withheld in their entirety. Of utmost significance is that Mr. Peltier seeks release of documents relating to informants, particularly with respect to the extent the FBI paid informants to infiltrate Mr. Peltier's defense team. Mr. Peltier's legal team just discovered evidence establishing that Douglas Durham, who was a confidential source paid by the FBI to infiltrate the highest levels of the American Indian Movement and who was exposed on March 7, 1975, spoke with, and provided information to, William Halprin, the Chief Prosecutor from Canada against Mr. Peltier in connection with the extradition proceedings. Halprin requested Durham's involvement "to enable him to utilize source [Durham] to refute statements made by Peltier's defense." The FBI instructed Durham "to provide information requested by Crown Attorney [and]... if recontacted by Halprin, he would cooperate fully and would keep Omaha advised of developments." Knowing full well the impact such revelations would have on Mr. Peltier's case, the government is fighting vigorously to prevent these documents, that date back over 30 years, from being publicly released. Among other things, the FBI claims that the release of this information would harm national security and reveal the identities of confidential sources. Mr. Peltier's lawyers have argued that these are nothing more than pretexts to prevent the release of further evidence of the continuing violation of Mr. Peltier's constitutional rights and further drives home the fact that Mr. Peltier never received a fair trial.

  • 30 November 2006: On December 7, 2006 at 10:00 a.m., Leonard Peltier's attorney Michael Kuzma will be arguing before a three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals for the full release of all documents maintained by the Buffalo field office of the FBI relating to Leonard Peltier and RESMURS. As a result of this lawsuit, and a similar case brought against the FBI in Minnesota under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), we have learned that the FBI actually possesses 142,579 pages of material pertaining to Leonard Peltier and RESMURS. Although these documents are over 30 years old, the government continues to block release of this information on the basis that disclosure would, among other things, hamper the "war on transnational terrorism" and reveal the identities of confidential sources.

  • 3 January 2007: Barry Bachrach, attorney for Leonard Peltier, files an appeal to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. This appeal concerns the unconstitutional application of Section 235( b)(3) of the SRA by the Parole Commission. This enactment made substantial changes by stripping the Parole Commission of any discretion and by establishing a method of determinate sentencing.

  • 3 February through 8 April 2007: the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee and the Smoki Museum in Prescott, Arizona present "Warrior Elder: The Paintings of Leonard Peltier". The Warrior Elder Exhibit and event include a benefit concert featuring reggae artists Casper, Native Roots and Native flute player Travis Terry.

  • 23 February 2007: In two separate decisions rendered this month, US District Judge Donovan W. Frank and a three-judge panel for the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals refused to order the FBI to release thousands of pages of documents relating to Leonard Peltier. Both Judge Frank and the Appeals Court upheld claims by the FBI that release of the sought-after information would, among other things, cause serious damage to the national security of the United States and the war on transnational terrorism. Judge Frank found that any evidence of prior FBI misconduct was "irrelevant". Judge Frank's decision will be appealed to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

  • 3 April 2007: The Norwegian Nobel Committee confirms that Leonard Peltier has officially been nominated for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. This year 181 candidates have been registered. The name of the Prize recipient for 2007 will be announced in mid-October.

  • 8 June 2007: Ron Kuby and David Pressman, attorneys for Leonard Peltier, file an appellate brief with the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, asking the Court to review and release some 11,000 pages of documents related to the investigation and prosecution of Leonard Peltier. The FBI continues to withhold those documents, claiming that their release would violate promises of confidentiality made to informants and would, incredibly, endanger the national security of the United States. In their brief, they argue that the FBI's promises to its informants expired long ago, and were waived when those informants testified publicly. Peltier's attorneys also assert that the virtually unprecedented public interest in the case of Leonard Peltier warrants careful judicial review of the withheld documents. In addition, they demonstrate that the FBI's historic misconduct in this case, coupled with its continued misrepresentations about Peltier's case, shows sufficient bad faith to require the most searching inquiry into any claims of privilege.
    Copy of the appellate brief for the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals (filed June 8, 2007) can be found here: www.leonardpeltier.net/documents/Brief5.pdf

  • 9 October 2007: Leonard Peltier's legal team, Ron Kuby and David Pressman file a reply brief with the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. Defendant-Appellee ("the Government") continues to categorically insist that there is no degree of governmental misconduct toward a FOIA litigant that could cause a court to "question the good faith of the agency", Cox v Department of Justice, 576 F2d 1302, 1312( 8 Cir.1978) unless the litigant can prove misconduct in the FOIA proceedings themselves. The government's assertion that it can wave away its sordid history of proven FBI and prosecutorial misconduct toward Peltier with a "what have we done to you lately" nonchalance, rests entirely on the government's own insistence. More significantly, the government conflates Peltier's lengthy, documented, proven history of the most serious governmental misconduct with some fanciful, gauzy grievance made by some hypothetical litigant. The U.S. government again demonstrates that it does not now, nor has it ever, taken seriously any of the courts that have admonished it about the treatment of Leonard Peltier. It has been proven that the FBI withheld exculpatory evidence, manufactured inculpatory evidence that it knew to be false, coerced witnesses and engaged in an over-reaction to Wounded Knee, sufficiently grave to cause a Senior Judge of this Court to opine that the government shares responsibility for the firefight that led to the death of the two FBI agents. The U.S. government has shown no solicitude for the enormous "burden on the judiciary" that its own malfeasance has caused.
    Please click here for copy of reply brief for the United States Courts of Appeals for the Eight Circuit:
    www.leonardpeltier.net/documents/Reply%20Final%20filed.pdf

  • 12 February 2008: A hearing regarding the release of the documents the FBI is still withholding, is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, March 11th, 2008, beginning at 9:00 a.m. before the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. Court will be held at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in the Frey Moot Courtroom at 1000 LaSalle Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

  • 11 March 2008: Oral arguments before a three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in Minneapolis, Minnesota, deal with Peltier's attempt to get the FBI to release thousands of pages of documents about him that the Bureau is withholding. Judge Lavenski R. Smith asks Peltierís attorney, Michael Kuzma what the remedy would be for Peltier. Kuzma says the court should conduct "a full in-camera review of the documents". When Smith expresses some disbelief at that idea, Kuzma adds that, if that were too burdensome, the court could focus on the documents from 1977, of which Peltier has received none. Tom Byron, attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington D.C., argues that "there is no support" for an in-camera inspection of the records. The agency has said it properly withheld documents based on exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act. Those include documents kept secret for national security reasons and information that would reveal funds spent on undercover operations. He also says there was no evidence the U.S. District Court abused its discretion in ruling that the FBI could withhold certain documents. Kuzma says the documents compiled by the FBI's Minneapolis field office could contain information about FBI informants who were privy to attorney-client conversations involving Peltier, and who could have turned around and reported valuable information to the FBI. Peltier has filed similar lawsuits elsewhere in the country.

  • 12 January 2009: Because USP Lewisburg will be turned into a medium-security facility, Leonard Peltier is transferred to a high-security federal prison in Canaan, Pennsylvania, 30 miles northeast of his former facility in Lewisburg. Prison authorities have assured us that he will retain his phone and painting privileges and access to his diabetes medication.

  • 13 January 2009: Leonard Peltier is brutally beaten by two other inmates while arriving in general population at USP Canaan. Leonard is placed in solitary confinement, alledgedly for his "protection".

  • 19 January 2009: In the final days of his Administration, President George W. Bush formally denies Leonard Peltier's request for executive clemency.

  • 20 January 2009: Inauguration of President Barack Obama. Leonard Peltier's supporters immediately start a campaign to ask the new president to grant clemency.

  • 25 January 2009: All week long, Leonard Peltier has not had a medical examination after the beating, nor was he allowed a visit from his lawyers. On January 25th, finally one of his attorneys, Sheila Dugan is allowed to visit him.

  • 30 January 2009: Leonard Peltier is transferred back to USP Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. He is back in general population.

  • 6 February 2009: Peltier suporters from all across the world jam the White House comments line all day, demanding that President Barack Obama grants executive clemency. Today marks the 33th anniversary of Mr. Peltier's arrest in Canada.

  • 17 February 2009: Robert "Bob" Robideau passes away at his home in Barcelona, Spain.

  • 28 April 2009: American Indian activist and political prisoner Leonard Peltier has officially been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for the sixth consecutive year.

  • 29 April 2009: Leonard Peltier loses another round in court in his effort to compel the FBI to disclose about 10,500 pages of documents about his case. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis rules on the case, rejecting Peltier's claim that the district court should have reviewed all the documents, not just a sample of about 500 pages. The appeals court says Peltier didn't make that argument during the trial so the district court in Minnesota didn't abuse its discretion by not doing it. Further, the appeals court says the lower court was correct in ruling that the Freedom of Information Act's exemptions cover the bulk of the disputed documents, shielding them from disclosure. Please click here for the 8th Circuit Court decision:
    www.ca8.uscourts.gov/opndir/09/04/071745P.pdf

  • 27 May 2009: Leonard Peltier's parole hearing is scheduled for July 28th, 2009. Attorneys Eric Seitz and Bruce Ellison will be representing him at the hearing.

  • 28 July 2009: Leonard Peltier's full parole hearing starts at 9 a.m. EST at USP Lewisburg, PA; and is concluded after 4 long hours. Leonard Peltier's parole attorney, Eric Seitz says that the FBI presented the same old line of garbage; very repetitive, nothing new. SA David Price had asked for permission to come to the hearing but his letter was rejected. Eric Seitz presented the parole commission with information they had never seen before. Leonard Peltier spoke for hour and a half to the parole board. Cindy Malaterre, the District 2 Tribal Council Woman for the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, spoke for Leonard at the hearing. The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians has job for Leonard at the new college there, teaching art and also as a counselor to people in life situations at another facility that is opening; and a home for him. Peter Matthiessen, author of "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse" also addressed the parole commission in support of Leonard. Outside USP Lewisburg, a couple of hundred of supporters gather for a vigil. The parole examiner says he will make his decision in the next 24-48 hours and relay it to the full commision. They have 21 days by law to render their decision.

  • 26 June 2009: 34 years since the fire fight on the Jumping Bull property. Leonard Peltier is still waiting for the outcome of his parole hearing. 

  • 21 August 2009: Leonard Peltier, imprisoned since 1977, is denied parole. He will not be eligible for parole again until July 2024, when he will be 79 years old. Parole was abolished for federal convicts in 1987, but Peltier remains eligible because he was convicted before then.

  • 26 June 2010: It has been 35 years since the fire fight on the Jumping Bull property, and Leonard Peltier still remains incarcerated.

 

Chronology continued:

  • LP case chronology part 6 (2011 - 2012)
  • LP case chronology part 7  (2013 - ...)

     

     





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    Last update: 01/12/2014

     

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