Former Leonard Peltier Prosecutor to Obama: Clemency in “Best Interest of Justice”

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Published January 3, 2017

NAPLES, FLORIDA – The former U.S. Attorney who prosecuted Leonard Peltier in 1977 has sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking for the president to grant Peliter’s Clemency Petition “as being in the best interests of justice considering the totality of all matters involved.”

Former Iowa United States Attorney James Reynolds now supports clemency, along with millions of other Americans, who feel Leonard Peltier should be released after spending over 40 years behind bars after being convicted of killing two FBI agents in June 1975 at Oglala on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Mr. Reynolds was the top prosecutor in charge of the Iowa Office and supervised the prosecutors who handled Peltier’s trial and appeal. The FBI has consistently opposed the release of Peltier and has refused to accept any responsibility for wrongdoing or for the dangerous conditions on the Pine Ridge Reservation during the 1970s, in a era known by American Indians who lived there as the “reign of terror.”

“It is truly extraordinary for the head prosecutor in such a politicized case to take a public stance contrary to the FBI–it is unprecedented to our knowledge,” says Martin Garbus, the lead counsel in Peltier’s petition for clemency and one of the nation’s top trial attorneys. “We will urge President Obama to weigh Mr. Reynolds’ letter when considering Mr. Peltier’s case, and to examine the Petition with fresh eyes. We believe that Mr. Peltier’s conviction presents one of the greatest injustices in the history of the American justice system.”

The Clemency Petition, filed in February 2016, is supported by the FBI’s own records, which were uncovered by Peltier attorneys through decades of litigation under the Freedom of Information Act.

Former US Attorney Reynolds letter (1) (1)

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