Jailed 77-year-old Native American activist Leonard Peltier has tested positive for COVID-19 less than a week after describing his prison conditions as a “torture chamber.” Peltier was convicted of aiding and abetting the killing of two FBI agents during a shootout on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation in 1975 while a member of the American Indian Movement. He has long maintained his innocence and is considered by Amnesty International as a political prisoner.
Democracy Now! speaks with his lawyer and former federal judge Kevin Sharp, who says Peltier’s case was riddled with misconduct, including witness intimidation and withholding exculpatory evidence. Sharp argues Peltier’s health, age, and unfair trial make him the perfect candidate for executive clemency. “The legal remedies are no longer available,” says Sharp on Peltier’s case. “Now it’s time for the [Bureau of Prisons] and the president of the United States to fix this and send him home.”
Democracy Now! produces a daily, global, independent news hour hosted by award-winning journalists Amy Goodman and Juan González. Our reporting includes breaking daily news headlines and in-depth interviews with people on the front lines of the world’s most pressing issues.
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