EVW partner Martin Garbus represents Leonard Peltier, in his bid for clemency in what many believe to be a politicized conviction in a murder case dating back to 1975. You can read more details on the case here. The bid for clemency received a big boost this past week when no less than the lead prosecutor in the case, James Reynolds, joined the call for clemency.
Reynolds wrote a letter to President Obama saying that a pardon would be “in the best interests of justice.” With Obama’s departure from office now just nine days away, there has been a growing movement to pardon Mr. Peltier. It’s a movement that includes Nobel Peace Prize winners Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela and Rigoberta Menchu.
The names of Tutu, Mandel and Menchu carry significant political clout, but nothing has been more stunning than former prosecutor Reynolds adding his voice to theirs.
“It is truly extraordinary for the head prosecutor in such a politicized case to take a public stance contrary to the FBI. It is unprecedented to our knowledge,” said Mr. Garbus. “We will urge President Obama to weigh Mr. Reynolds’ letter when considering Mr. Peltier’s case, and to examine the Petition with fresh eyes. We believe that Mr. Peltier’s conviction presents one of the greatest injustices in the history of the American justice system.”
Mr. Peltier has been down this road before. He was promised a pardon by then-outgoing President Bill Clinton in January 2001, but protests from the FBI changed Clinton’s mind. A pardon from incoming President Donald Trump is considered unlikely at best and the 72-year old Peltier may be facing his final opportunity.