Essay about Leonard Peltier Should be Released from Prison

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Leonard Peltier is currently serving time in the Leavenworth federal penitentiary for the shooting deaths of two Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) agents. According to FBI documents, at around 11:50 A.M. on June 26th, 1975, agents Jack Color and Ron Williams were supposedly searching for Jimmy Eagle, a thief wanted for stealing a pair of cowboy boots. The agents encroached on the Jumping Bull Compound in Oglala, South Dakota of the Pine Ridge reservation, in two separate vehicles that no one could recognize (Incident). In this area, there were several members of the American Indian Movement (AIM). After the intrusion of the agents, someone-and it is unsure who-fired a shot and a shoot out began. By the end of the shoot out at Pine …show more content…
In fact, the evidence is so inconclusive, contradictory, and vague that reasonable doubt abounds when one tries to objectively look at the evidence at hand.

The evidence linking Peltier to the shooting of the either of the agents is non-existent. First, there are major problems with linking Peltier to any gun that may have caused a fatal injury. According to FBI documentation, the FBI found a damaged AR-15 rifle in the burned out car of another AIM activist, Robert Robideau, who was also at the Jumping Bull Compound on the day of June 26, 1975 (Incident). The FBI later would assert that the gun was Peltier's, and that it was matched to a shell casing found in the trunk of one the agents cars.

However, according to a documented FBI ballistics test carried out on October 12, 1975, the AR-15 rifle found in Robideau's car didn't match bullet found on the scene; even if it is assumed to be Peltier's gun, the gun cannot be linked to any bullets found in the crime scene (Incident). The FBI also did another, less effective form of test on the bullet that showed that the bullet might have come from the damaged gun. (Incident) However, since the second method of testing was more prone to fault, error, and interpretation of the agents, it should not be used in light of the first. The best the FBI could prove from the test was that the bullet came from…