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You are here News Human Rights Leonard Peltier, Indigenous activist in prison for 47 years over FBI killings, has parole hearing

Leonard Peltier, Indigenous activist in prison for 47 years over FBI killings, has parole hearing

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Leonard Peltier

Leonard Peltier, a Native American activist who has served nearly 50 years in prison for the killing of two FBI agents, was due to have his first parole hearing since 2009 on Monday, his lawyer said.

Peltier, 79, has maintained that he did not kill the FBI special agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams in 1975 on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Advocates, including figures such as the late Nelson Mandela and a former prosecutor and judge involved in his case, have long said he should be freed because of what they call legal irregularities in his trial.

But in letter send to the top federal parole officer, Christopher Wray, the FBI director, called Peltier a “remorseless killer” who should never be freed.

“Throughout the years, Peltier has never accepted responsibility or shown remorse,” Wray wrote to Patricia Cushwa, acting chair of the US Parole Commission, on 7 June. “He is wholly unfit for parole.”

Peltier was to meet with a US Parole Commission federal agent inside the Coleman federal complex in Florida, according to Peltier’s attorney, the former federal judge Kevin Sharp.

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