Leonard has been in prison longer than many people convicted of murder. He has been eligible for parole for many years and every appeal has been denied. Both his parents have died while he was incarcerated and he has survived two attempts on his life; had his jaw wired shut after botched surgery and is now suffering from old age. During the 1996 Democratic Convention I asked a Deputy in the Justice Department about Leonard and he told me, "When you first spoke to me, I thought you were crazy. I'm embarrassed to say that everything you told me was the truth. All I can say is that there are some very powerful people in Washington that do not want to see him leave prison alive."
Peltier, 64, is serving two life sentences for the deaths of FBI agents Ronald Williams and Jack Coler, who were shot in the head at close range after being injured in a shootout on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975. Peltier’s trial was held in Fargo.
Although Peltier has received interim parole hearings, his last full parole hearing was in 1993, Cowan said. He will be represented at July’s hearing by Eric Seitz, a Honolulu attorney.
I really haven't heard a good reason for the government's denying a parole hearing to Peltier when it grants parole hearings to others prisoners convicted of murder. I believe Peltier has been a model prisoner, so what exactly is the excuse for denying him a hearing? If you don't like his case, turn him down at the hearing, but don't deny him a hearing altogether.
For more on the subject, see Erdrich on Peltier, Peltier Committee Reforms, and Myth Busters Target Peltier.
P.S. Does Coyote do anything other than work on Native projects and issues these days? It sure doesn't seem like it.