Sunday, November 25, 2012

All political prisoners deserve new trials

All Black Panther, Indian, Cuban, Animal Rights, the poor

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Conflict of Interest in the Peltier Case

The Justice Department investigated the deaths of two of their own. They did things that demonstrate that they were driven by factors other than concern for Justice and The Rule of Law, things that demonstrate that this was personal, that this was defending the organization, a pro se self-defense of a sort: fabricate evidence, hide evidence, lie under oath, and expend massive efforts to move oppression from the reservation into the courts. The intensity of the involvement was made obvious during Leonard's application for parole during Bill Clinton's presidency, when the FBI protested at the White House, in violation of their own standards to be invisible.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

The Department of Mercy

The Department of Mercy has one full-time employee:
the President of the United States.

Friday, June 08, 2012

We are not always right

Clemency is important because many things that seem right at the time, are viewed later in another way. Priorities change, perspectives change, but jail sentences are set in concrete. Especially hard to change are sentences for convictions entangled in government misconduct. Entrenched powers create obstacles to justice for twenty years or more, by which time most prisoners are out of the public eye.

Here are some quaint ideas:
01. Margarine
02. Cigarettes
03. Pesticides
04. Sacred cows - the people in India were wise not to kill cattle.
05. Slavery
06. Trail of Tears - Andrew Jackson's flouting of John Marshall's decision was a high crime against humanity.
07. Japanese internment
08. Alien and Sedition Acts
09. Vietnam - Ho Chi Min
10. Rwanda - the USA was wrong to allow the massacre
11. Cambodia - Vietnam was right to stop the massacre.
12. MLK and Malcom X - were leaders who freed many from internal bondage, not grave threats to America.
13. Manifest Destiny - Zacary Taylor's attack on the Seminoles was unjust, like Wounded Knee, and Black Kettle.
14. Teddy Roosevelt - had no God-given right to a big stick.
15. WWII - Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima: targeting civilians is terrorism.
16. Eisenhower - identifies the threat of a military industrial complex; a self-sustaining war machine.
17. Kennedy - his covert actions caused the nuclear missle crisis.
18. The Cuban Five - will the real terrorist please stand up?
19. Saddam - was not a threat.
20. sanctions - were not worth it.
21. Scott Ritter - was correct and was not a traitor.
22. Police force - have too often been used to support the powerful against the just demands of the struggling - The Ludlow massacre, the Pullman strike, Haymarket.
23. Fred Hampton was murdered by the Chicago police.
24. You cannot complain that blacks are lazy, and also complain that blacks are militant. Oppressed people have a right to struggle against oppression. The struggle can be stopped, for a time, "put down", but this is to be on he wrong side of History.
25. AIM - the resistance of American Indians to encroaching genocide is normal.

Leonard Peltier has been in jail since 1977: 35 years.
The American Indian Movement is no longer thought to have been a grave national threat.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Clemency is different from Justice

Clemency is different from Justice; or rather, different from the legal system.

The goal of the legal system is to enforce the laws in an impartial manner. Whether Justice is achieved by that process depends on the content of the laws, in addition to the impartiality of their enforcement.
Since the Justice System is a human construction, it must be flawed. The purpose of the Clemency process is to allow for correction of flaws, some of which cannot be addressed in a practical way within the legal system. Since life is always a question of priorities, and priorities change over time, and the significance of events can sometimes be better seen in context, from a distance, Clemency allows for adjustment to actions that at once seemed clear and urgent, and later seemed doubtful.
It may be proper for employees of the Justice Department to think that Clemency is opposed to Justice; that is, to the work they do, but that is not so.

Target the audience

The appeal is to President Obama.
Test the appeal on ex-President Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter.