As attorney Eric Seitz has said regarding parole, the Peltier case is one of “original jurisdiction”. That classification is the result of a number of factors–including the seriousness of the “offense,” the fact that Mr. Peltier is serving life sentences, and also because this is such a high-profile case.
Procedurally, this means the examiner made a recommendation sometime following the hearing on July 28. The application for parole was then forwarded to the regional commissioner apparently, who also reviewed the case and made a recommendation (the same as a vote, in this instance). The case was then forwarded to the four sitting executive commissioners in Washington (or Chevy Chase, MD, right outside of DC). The parole decision will be made by majority vote.
According to parole guidelines:
“Upon receipt of an original jurisdiction case, the National Commissioners, where feasible, shall process the case within 21 days. Cases shall be voted on sequentially.”
It isn’t known when the National Commissioners received the Peltier application for parole or when the 21-day clock began running. Also, generally, reference by the government of “days” means business days, not calendar days.
It isn’t known how many parole applications were received prior to Peltier’s application or if a backlog exists at the U.S. Parole Commission.
It isn’t known if all four National Commissioners are available for the review and a vote at this time. It’s August and, traditionally, Washington pretty well closes down during the month of August. Members of Congress return to their home districts for the month and they and the President generally vacation during this period. Government bureaucrats often do the same.
Our point: There are many unknowns. But this is something we DO know. There is great potential here for there to be a delay — intentional or not — with regard to the parole decision. The words “where feasible,” tell us so.
That’s why everyone has to keep up the political pressure.
We know you’ve written letters, made calls, sent e-mails. First, thank you. Thank you very much for all you do on Leonard’s behalf.
But now you have to do it again. And again. And again. Please. Do it and keeping doing it until Leonard Peltier is home with his family.
Call the White House Comment Line: 202-456-1111 or 202-456-1112;
Fax a letter to the White House: 202-456-2461;
E-mail the White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/.
Take all three actions every single day.
And the message?
Mr. President. Free Peltier NOW!
Again, thank you.