Leonard Peltier Case Study

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Because there is no definite proof that Leonard Peltier ever murdered the two FBI agents on Pine Ridge Reservation in 1975, he should not be imprisoned for the crime. He did not own the pick-up truck that the agents claimed to be following on the day of the murder, nor can it be proven that he owned the gun that killed them. The two agents, Williams and Coler, were tracking a man that had stolen a pair of boots and were in unmarked cars when they drove onto Jumping Bull Ranch. Witnesses claim that they heard shots fired, and later saw a red pick-up truck fleeing the scene. The initial shots sparked a shootout between nearby residents and the agents. Based on the autopsy, the two agents had to have been killed at close range with a .35 caliber bullet, of which the casings could be found near the trunk of the FBI agent's car. When police raided an AIM camp, a suspect in the murder named Robideau was captured after his car caught fire and destroyed an AR-15, capable of holding a .35 caliber bullet, and Agent Coler’s weapon. However, when the FBI got an analysis of the gun from an expert, it was…show more content…
The FBI agents were following what they said was a red pick-up truck onto the Reservation, and after the shooting witnesses claimed to have seen a red pick-up truck fleeing the scene. In addition, another FBI agent stationed further down the road from the Reservation reported seeing a red pick-up truck drive past around when the shooting ended. However, the FBI claims that Leonard Peltier’s red and white station wagon, which he only drove occasionally, was the van from the case. Although the van cannot be tied to him through strong, unwavering evidence, the FBI linked him to the possible murder’s vehicle during the trial. This skewed evidence could have swayed the jury into a false opinion that changed their verdict on Leonard Peltier’s
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