"The litany of historical wrongs perpetrated against the Indigenous Peoples of both of our countries is long and shameful. Leonard’s case is an example of this legacy." - Larry Brown, President NUPGE
Ottawa (16 Jan. 2016) — In the final days of the Obama presidency, the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) made one more appeal for clemency for Leonard Peltier.
"My union has been actively involved in the campaign to win Leonard Peltier’s freedom for decades now," wrote NUPGE President Larry Brown. "We think that a grave injustice has been done to Leonard Peltier and have repeatedly called on the Canadian and U.S. governments to take steps to grant him his freedom."
It is time!
Brown points out that there were serious concerns with how Peltier's trial was conducted.
"A number of legal experts have attested that Leonard Peltier never received a fair trial and has never been granted a request for a new one." Brown writes. "To serve such a long and harsh sentence without having received a fair trial is a serious miscarriage of justice."
It is also the case, argued Brown, that Leonard Peltier has spent a much longer time in prison than other convicted murderers who received fair trials and whose guilt has been established beyond reasonable doubt."
There is also a strong humanitarian argument for granting clemency, as Peltier has many serious and life threatening health issues. Brown argues that Peltier's "lengthy incarceration has taken its toll. The details of his medical conditions are provided in his clemency applications. If any inmate suffered from such severe health problems, health considerations alone would be sufficient reasons to grant clemency.”
A step towards reconciliation
Brown ends his clemency appeal by highlighting that "the litany of historical wrongs perpetrated against the Indigenous Peoples of both of our countries is long and shameful. Leonard’s case is an example of this legacy. By granting clemency to Leonard Peltier, you will be both recognizing this terrible history and taking another step towards reconciliation."
"I plead for you to grant clemency to Mr. Peltier, in accordance with the Constitution of the United States, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE