Leonard Peltier's Trial In American History

Great Essays
There has been countless unjust trials in American history. Many of them spark debates that last for decades. During the late 1970’s there was one particular trial concerning the murder of the of two FBI agents by a Native American. Leonard Peltier was convicted and tried for murder. The evidence the government used to try Peltier was almost entirely falsified. Leonard Peltier’s trial was a shameful event in our history as he extradited for false affiliates, tried with false evidence, and never given an appeal.

Leonard Peltier is a Native American who has been wrongly imprisoned for about 38 years. Peltier was accused of first-degree murder of two FBI agents. The event took place on June 26th, 1975. Many people disliked Native Americans
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“The American Indian Movement (AIM) was founded in Minnesota in 1968 by Eddie Benton Banai, George Mitchell, Dennis Banks, and Clyde Bellecourt...AIM's targets included…the federal government, with whom it had a long list of grievances” (Linder). AIM was formed “as a Native American response to white hegemony in the United States” (American). There was one main event that led to Leonard Peltier’s predicament. “In February 1973, AIM instigated a seventy-one day takeover of the site of a famous 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee, South Dakota” (Linder). For the next two years, the reservation was under the control of the "progressives" and elected tribal leader Dick Wilson. He was a cruel and unforgiving leader, who used his power to attack "traditionalists.” He used vigilante force called "GOONs (Guardians of the Oglala Nation) to get what he wanted (Linder). Over 60 people were murdered from 1973 to 1975. This territory had the highest murder rate in the United States during this time period (Linder). The Pine Ridge Reservation did not know what to do so they “asked AIM leaders to send members to the Reservation to protect against further goon squad attacks” (Linder). Leonard Peltier was part of AIM and was one of the members sent to the Pine Ridge Reservation to protect Native Americans. AIM was a main part of this event as they started the takeover and indirectly caused the GOONs to rise

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