Obama Administration Denies Clemency for Leonard Peltier

January 18, 2017, in a letter addressed to Leonard Peltier’s lawyer, the Obama administration formally denied the request to grant clemency to Peltier.

Leonard Peltier, a Native rights activist and member of the American Indian Movement, has been incarcerated since 1976 convicted of a crime he did not commit. Peltier’s struggle to gain freedom has crossed the globe and supporters include the likes of Mother Theresa and Desmond Tutu, whom have all called for his clemency.

Recently, the lead prosecutor in the Peltier case, former United States Attorney James H. Reynolds, called on Obama to grant Peltier clemency stating Peltier’s release would be, “in the best interest of justice in considering the totality of all matters involved.”

In 2003, the judges of the 10th Circuit stated: “Much of the government’s behavior at the Pine Ridge Reservation and in its prosecution of Mr. Peltier is to be condemned. The government withheld evidence. It intimidated witnesses. These facts are not disputed.”

Peltier is 72 years old and considered to be in poor health.


Letter to Peltier’s lawyer.

Dear Mr. Martin Garbus:

The application for commutation of sentence of your client, Mr. Leonard Peltier, was carefully considered in this Department and the White House, and the decision was reached that favorable action is not warranted. Your client’s application was therefore denied by the President on January 18, 2017. Please advise your client accordingly.

Under the Constitution, there is no appeal from this decision. As a matter of well-established policy, we do not disclose the reasons for the decision in a clemency matter. In addition, deliberative communications pertaining to agency and presidential decision-making are confidential and not available under existing case law interpreting the Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act. Your client will become eligible to reapply for commutation one year from the date on which the President denied the current application.


Office of the Pardon Attorney

by Wakíƞyaƞ Waánataƞ (Matt Remle- Lakota)

Matt Remle (Lakota), second from right, is an editor and writer for Last Real Indians and LRInspire follow @wakiyan7

Matt Remle (Lakota), second from right, is an editor and writer for Last Real Indians and LRInspire follow @wakiyan7

16 thoughts on “Obama Administration Denies Clemency for Leonard Peltier

  1. The Obama administration says it carefully considered the request to grant clemency. No they did not. They just decided it was easier to chuck the request in the trash bin. Why would they do that? Obviously, they don’t want Leonard Peltier to be interviewed because the public will know the truth.

    • Yep they are still trying to cover their tails. They sweep there actions under the carpet and hope nobody finds out about it because nobody talks about it. Most people don’t understand what went on at wounded knee and what the government has tried to cover and the corruption that was there politically with the leaders and the oppression of the people. This man should be released he should of never had to spend these decades incarcerated

  2. Booooooo !!!! Bad decision! I am in most things a big supporter of President Obama. I do not understand his decision in this case. All the facts presented indicate Leonard Peltier’s innocence. He should be released with an apology and a parade and check for years of wrongful incarceration! To deny him freedom now is shameful and likely a death sentence to a man who is no threat to anyone.

  3. OMG This can not be true. How in the world could the president not pardon this man. He did not do what they said he did and he is old and suffering very poor health, This makes me doubt the whole group of people that are the ones responsible for a pardon, I don’t know how they can sleep at night. This was a very wrong decision.

  4. For what it’s worth, to all who know of Leonard, this position from President Obama should destroy any positive opinions of his legacy. It certainly has for me, no respect left.

  5. President Obama,,

    You have shown the true nature of you administration, one of deceit. Your silence and delay until the last possible moment a decision regarding Mr. Peltier has shown your cowardice. An unwillingness to allow the the reality of ‘facts’ to be on public display . .
    You misled the native people, and the people of this entire nation, to believe you were a man of honor – – you are not sir, Your action have been those of a dispenser of false words and deceit .. the act of a liar and coward..
    It has cast a legacy of shame on your family name that your wife and children must now bear to their graves .. If your intention was to cast doubt on the integrity of this country,, you have exceeded beyond you greatest expectations . . . .

  6. I’s no can Imagine INJUSTICE for so long, especially having to have little choice but cope and deal with such Injustice! Especially noting Incarceration!
    I’s NO Injustice myself, right’s here in Kentucky! 34 years of repeatedly Civil Rights violations, 3 State Agencies and 5 Counties in serious liability issues, on top of which being crushed at work. 16 surgeries, 2 1/2 lbs surgical steel holds me together! Failure of Worker’s Compensation, 27+yrs, 85-95% physically disabled, plus PTSD! Veteran. 25 year marriage destroyed by Intrusion and Injustice. Over 1000 Civil Right’s Violations to date.
    FBI asserted Public Interest Case September 2014. Yeah, Kentucky’s Governor REQUIRED to address his Agencies and Agent’s over Civil Right’s Issues!
    Failure of 2 U.S.District Courts! London and Lexington Kentucky. One over Civil Rights Issues and Double Jeopardy, took Whitley County scared Civil Rights Attorney so bad the ran: and Fayette County, Judge Keller I was the stubbornness defendant he had ever seen, Jefferson County District Court Judge saw me in his Chambers, saw the faint bruises on back, chest and shoulders, takes a idiot to beat on a man in chains! He picked up phone saw my Pro-se Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Ruled SUSTAINED, comment in Open Court room, Things as this will not happen to you in My District!
    Yeah, 7/16 Native American.Cherokee Chieftain Tsalagi My Great GreatGrandfather Eastern Appalachia Kentucky! Cheneeshaw My Cherokee Name! Taliesin G. Gwyddioniaid. I was My Families Solution as well as other’s! Bodyguard Specializing in Disarming and Immobilizing attacker’s. Martial arts skill-sets Empty hands and feets! 38-1 My Score for Innocents!

  7. Pingback: Obama administration denies clemency for Leonard Peltier « The Nuclear Resister

  8. Inconsiderate callous President Obama deserves extreme severe SHAME lifetime DENOUNCEMENTS DISGRACE for his INHUMANE CALLOUS DENIAL of JUSTICE for Leonard Peltier NEVER JUSTLY proven guilty!!!! OBAMA EQUALS DISGRACE!!!!

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