( date )
To: The United States Parole Commission
As a European Citizen interested in defending and promoting human rights universally, I am writing to express my full support for parole for Mr. Leonard Peltier. Mr. Peltier is a Native American leader who has now been incarcerated for some 24 years. This case is well known in Europe where the European Parliament adopted two resolutions asking for his freedom. Mr. Peltier has served far longer than most prisoners convicted of similar crimes, and his conduct in prison has been excellent. I would be honored to receive him as a guest in my own home when he is released.
I am particularly impressed with the many good deeds Mr. Peltier has carried out during his many years behind bars. He has worked with medical experts to improve health care delivery on the reservations, and has helped to establish an entrepreneur program for talented Native youth. He was instrumental in setting up a Native American scholarship program at New York University, and helped start up a Native American newspaper in Washington state. He has sponsored two children in rural El Salvador and Guatemala, and runs annual clothing and toy drives for the people of the Pine Ridge Reservation, half way houses, and women's centers. He has also played a key role in assisting other prisoners display their art work across country, in order to promote prisoner art programs and increase prisoner self-confidence and esteem. This man has proven himself to be a compassionate human being and a true leader.
I am especially concerned with Mr. Peltier's deteriorating health. He is now 55 years old, and suffers from a heart condition as well as diabetes. He has lost most of the vision in one eye due to poor medical care. I'm also appalled to see that it required over two years of excruciating pain for him and the constant pressure by his lawyers, his defense committee and his many supporters worldwide to reverse the Leavenworth Penitentiary and the Bureau of Prisons authorities' stances in order to allow Dr. Eugene Keller of the Mayo clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, to successfully perform a surgery to Mr. Peltier's jaw while the prison officials had arbitrarily diagnosed his jaw condition as stable, with no improvement possible and therefore warranting no surgery. All of these factors should weigh positively for his release through parole.
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