Bush Denied Peltier’s Clemency


Blog Talk Radio: “Clemency for Political Prisoner Leonard Peltier”

Crossposted at Native American Netroots


w, “The Decider” bush, “decided” to deny Peltier’s clemency the last day he was in the White House.


Bush also denied one of the longest-standing petitions for clemency, for Leonard Peltier, a Native American activist sentenced to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment for the murder of two FBI agents during a 1975 shootout on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. His application had been under consideration since 1993, current and former Justice Department officials said.

Obama is the only one who can help him now, since what w did makes a pardon more difficult politically, since one year must pass to reapply for commutation, and two years must pass before a pardon is reapplied for.

Such denials can be a serious setback for those intent on clemency. After a denial, a petitioner must wait two years to reapply for a pardon and one year for a commutation of a prison sentence, although they can also circumvent the Justice Department and appeal directly to the White House whenever they want. In some cases, a presidential denial can be a setback in other ways, as well, and make it harder politically for the next administration to approve it, according to several current and former administration officials involved in the pardon process.

What does “and one year for a commutation of a prison sentence” mean? It’s“the reduction of legal penalties, especially in terms of imprisonment. Unlike a pardon, a commutation does not nullify the conviction and is often conditional.”

Bush, who has not spoken publicly about the denials, did not make formal rulings on some other well-known figures, leaving their petitions alive. That long list includes former Illinois Gov. George Ryan, then-Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, U.S. Navy spy for Israel Jonathan Pollard, media mogul Conrad Black and telecommunications executives Bernard Ebbers and John Rigas.

So, a war criminal gets to deny a political prisoner’s clemency in his very last full day in power.

Petition Badge
Get Badge

Formal Petition to Attorney General-Designate Eric Holder to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute any and all government officials who have participated in War Crimes.

Sponsored by Docudharma.com and Democrats.com.


I wish Obama would reach out to Indian Country with as much effort as he has to the Muslim community, and this would be a great start.

Please sign this petition requesting that Obama free Leonard Peltier.


  1. Does Obama, or any U.S. president, have the nerve to grant clemency in this case? If he does, I will be mightily impressed.

Comments have been disabled.