We are Not Separate
We are not separate beings, you and I
We are different strands of the same being
You are me and I am you
and we are they and they are us
This is how we're meant to be,
each of us one
each of us all
You reach out across the void of Otherness to me
and you touch your own soul!
(by Leonard Peltier)
Leonard Peltier (born September 12, 1944) is a Native American activist and member of the American Indian Movement (AIM) who was convicted and sentenced in 1977 to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment, being accused of the murder of two Federal Bureau of Investigation agents who were killed during a 1975 shootout on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
There has been an intense debate over Peltier’s guilt and the fairness of his trial.
Leonard Peltier is considered by Amnesty International, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, National Congress of American Indians, the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Rev. Jesse Jackson, among many others, to be a political prisoner who should be immediately released.
Amnesty International has stated that "Although he has not been adopted as a prisoner of conscience, there is concern about the fairness of the proceedings leading to his conviction and it is believed that political factors may have influenced the way the case was prosecuted."
Numerous lawsuits have been filed on his behalf but none have succeeded.
Peltier is currently incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. His projected release date is October 11, 2040.
On July 28, 2009 Peltier was granted a full hearing before the US Parole Commission. On August 21, 2009 US Attorney Drew Wrigley announced that Peltier’s parole request had been denied. Peltier's next scheduled hearing will be in July 2024.