Leonard Peltier, a Chippewa-Lakota man, has been in prison for 40 years, incarcerated for the murder of two FBI agents in 1975. The case against him is shaky, that's the best way I can describe it, and it seems he is the victim of an overzealous prosecution during a period of time when being a Native activist was treated like an act of treason. Peltier's involvement with the American Indian Movement (AIM) made him a target, as it made several other Natives activists, their families and their children targets during the 1970s while AIM led a resistance against corrupt federal, state and local government policies. Read more.
Our nation’s prison and jail population had quintupled in 30 years, leaving us with the highest incarceration rate in the world. A third of black men had felony records — due in large part to a racially biased, brutal drug war — and were relegated to a permanent second-class status. Tens of millions of people in the United States had been stripped of basic civil and human rights, including the right to vote, the right to serve on juries and the right to be free of legal discrimination in employment, housing, education and basic public benefits. Read more.