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Leonard Peltier's Parole Request Denied

August 21, 2009  | 

Leonard Peltier, who was convicted in 1977 of murdering two FBI agents during a shootout at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, has been denied parole, the FBI announces.

In 1975, Special Agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams were killed during a gun battle with residents of the reservation. Coler's handgun was later recovered from an RV Peltier was driving in Oregon.

The FBI posted this statement on its website today that was attributed to Thomas Harrington, the executive assistant director of the bureau's criminal, cyber, response and services branch:

"The FBI family has never forgotten the ultimate sacrifice made by FBI Special Agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams, and we fully support the decision of the United States Parole Commission to deny parole to Leonard Peltier. His callous criminal acts demonstrated a complete disrespect for human life and for the law. His time served in jail for their 1975 murders has not diminished the brutality of his crimes or the pain and sorrow felt by the families of his victims or the FBI family."

Peltier, now 64, has received support from various civil rights groups and, in 2004, ran for president as the nominee of the Peace and Freedom Party while incarcerated. In January, President Bush denied Peltier's clemency petition before leaving office.

Read the FBI's request for denial of parole for Peltier.


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