Clemency for Leonord Peltier

Alexandra Orejuela, Writer

Leanord Peltier is a Native American activist who has worked to gain greater rights for Native Americans and participated in countless movements such as The American Indian Movement (AIM), and the Trail of Broken Treaties, a demonstration in which Native Americans protested for greater liberties. However,  he has been imprisoned for the past 47 years on the conviction for the deaths of two FBI officers.

In 1975, two FBI officers were searching for a man by the name of Jimmy Eagle, who was wanted for robbery. However, a shootout occurred and ended with two FBI officers and Joe Stuntz, a Native American, dead. Initially, Peltier and two other high ranking AIM officers were charged with the deaths, but later the two other AIM officers were found not guilty after the trial. Peltier feared he would not receive a fair trial, leading him to run away. Eventually, Peltier was found in Alberta, Canada by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The reasoning for his extradition back to the U.S. from Canada was based largely on the testimony of Myrtle Poor Bear. However, she has issued public statements where she stated that she was coerced into giving that testimony and has retracted her previous statement.

During his trial in the United States, he was convicted for two life sentences on first-degree murder of two counts. However, his lawyers continue to reject the conviction and they claim that evidence was falsified, and other evidence was suppressed. They maintained that the trial had inconsistencies.

Many human rights activist groups such as Amnesty International, are calling for Leonore Peltier’s clemency. Several petitions have been created for his clemency before it’s too late. On the other hand, many FBI agents have strongly denounced the appeal for clemency, supporting their conviction in his guilt. Despite the situation, Peltier is not eligible for a parole hearing until 2024.


  1. Cox, Amanda K.. “Leonard Peltier”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 19 Jan. 2023, Accessed 13 April 2023.

  2. Amnesty International UK. (n.d.). USA: Urge clemency for Native American activist. USA: URGE CLEMENCY FOR NATIVE AMERICAN ACTIVIST. Retrieved April 17, 2023, from