Former Defense Attorney for Leonard Peltier
Previously Aired On: May 30, 2007 – Listen to this Show!
Mr. Kuzma, a Buffalo, New York attorney, has for several years spearheaded the efforts to obtain the release of government documents on the Peltier case. Mr. Kuzma discovered that the government continues to withhold over 140,000 documents & he currently concentrates his efforts on securing the release of these additional documents concerning Mr. Peltier.
Leonard Peltier is a Native American activist and member of the American Indian Movement. In 1977 he was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment for murdering two FBI Agents who died during a 1975 shoot-out on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. There has been considerable debate over Peltier’s guilt and the fairness of his trial. Some supporters and organizations, including Amnesty International, consider him to be a political prisoner. Numerous appeals have been filed on his behalf; however, none has been ruled in his favor. Peltier is currently incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.
To the international community, the case of Leonard Peltier is a stain on America’s Human Rights record. Nelson Mandela, Rigoberta Menchu, the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights, the Dalai Lama, the European Parliament, the Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights, and Rev. Jesse Jackson are only a few who have called for his freedom. To many Indigenous Peoples, Leonard Peltier is a symbol of the long history of abuse and repression they have endured. The National Congress of American Indians and the Assembly of First Nations, representing the majority of First Nations in the U.S. and Canada, have repeatedly called for Leonard Peltier’s freedom.