Leonard Peltier: Why Florida?

September 17, 2011 at 11:30 am by: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Prison Industrial Complex, Prisoner Rights

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Leonard Peltier has been in prison for decades for a crime he never committed. You can learn more about Leonard Peltier here, by watching the video below, and by reading the note from Ben Carnes below.

The following is a note from Ben Carnes. Read it to find out what you can do to help.

They still don’t want to admit to the world that this isn’t the best and the fairest and most equal justice system. And that they are guilty of railroading people into jail. They don’t want to, or never will, admit these things. – Leonard Peltier


Leonard Peltier: Why Florida?

by Ben Carnes

Yesterday, I was speaking with a relative of Leonards and they asked where I thought they would send him. I thought of all the maximum security prisons he has been to: Marion, Lompoc, Springfield, Leavenworth, Terre Haute, Lewisburg, and Canaan. I hoped he would not go to Atlanta, but maybe someplace where he would be closer to family, or at least the Mayo clinic. This morning, we all found out he was thrown into an out of the way place, Coleman USP 1 in Florida.

Coleman is a Federal Correctional Complex with two high security prisons (I & II) for male prisoners, a medium security prison for males, with a minimum security camp for females and a low security camp for males. One of the things Coleman is known for is the conviction of a female prison guard, Erin Sharma, who set up the brutal murder in 2005 of an inmate who grabbed her arm. She was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. In 2010, Sharma’s supervisor, Michael Kennedy, who was complicit in this murder, was convicted and sentenced to nine years.

I don’t presume to know why he was transferred here, I can only speculate. In some state systems, the warden has an option of refusing to accept an inmate to be assigned to their facility for reasons usually based upon security and/or the orderly operation of the facility. Years ago, the federal system operated in the same manner. Another factor is the BOP would like to upset organizing efforts. A support base was building around him at Lewisburg, so by being assigned to an out of the way place, they may be hoping support will decrease. However, that would be unrealistic to their way of thinking. If anything, support may increase there in Florida and other parts of the SE region.

A few years ago, his security level was at the bottom of the scale for medium. If he had one point less, he would have been classified as medium low. In order to keep someone above their security classification, it would require an administrative over-ride. With the recent disciplinary reports, I don’t know where his points fall, but the facts of the infraction falls into the long list of fabrications made against LP.

The following is from a friends note of a message she recieved from Peltier’s attorney, Mike Kuzma and her own request for essays for future publication. Efforts should continue to transfer him as requested below, and for any inquireies about how to help or what to do, please direct them to LPDOC!

Feel free to share to share this note, especially with friends in Florida and surrounding states! Ben (only official website)



Sept 14, 2011. Michael Kuzma, one of Leonard Peltier’s lawyers, wrote me this morning (Wednesday) and posted that Leonard Peltier, after having been apparently transferred from a Lewisburg, Pa. prison yesterday, to an Oklahoma City “holding facility”, is NOW in a high security prison in Florida. The efforts/desire to request Medium Security Prison fell on deaf ears. Still the Peltier Defense Committee requests people worldwide contact the Bureau of Prisons (see info below) and demand his transfer to a “Medium Security” prison, an action required by law for inmates in good standing.

As the Committee explains: “This (FLorida prison) is nearly 2,000 miles from Leonard’s Nation, the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, in North Dakota! Tell the Federal Bureau of Prisons that the only acceptable transfer is one to a medium security facility in close proximity to (within a 500-mile radius of) his family and Nation. Ideally, Leonard should be moved to the medium security facility at Oxford, Wisconsin.”

The state of Peltier’s health is unclear. And it is not known, at this time, whether he is in solitary confinement, again. Or not.

Here, then, details about where Leonard Peltier is now. From one of his attornies, Michael Kuzma:

“Leonard has been transferred to the United States Penitentiary in Coleman, Florida. The United States Penitentiary I in Coleman is a high security facility housing male inmates. It is part of the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex. Leonard’s new mailing address is:

Leonard Peltier, #89637-132
USP Coleman I, U. S. Penitentiary,
P. O. Box 1033
Coleman, FL 33521.


(from Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee (LPDOC 9.14.11):

  1. Please continue your efforts on Leonard’s behalf. Keep calling the White House — 202-456-1111. Obama must free Leonard Peltier.
  2. Demand that Peltier be sent to Medium security prison, In Oxford, Wisconsin, the closest of this type of facility, to his home.
  3. Please send e-mails, write letters and call BOP every single day. Make reference to Leonard Peltier #89637-132 and contact:

    Dr. Thomas Kane, Acting Director
    Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP)
    320 1st Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20534
    Phone: (202) 307-3250 (Director); (202) 307-3198 (Switchboard)
    Fax: (202) 514-6620

(h/t: Nancy A. Heitzeg)


As long as Leonard remains in prison, this country cannot make any of the claims it does about freedom.

Cannot believe Clinton bailed on pardoning him.

If I ever get a tattoo, it'll be Leonard's name and prison number (whichever one is current at the time).  Not a day should go by that we all don't think of him and remember the terrible cost of being an innocent Indian in America.

Seeta Persaud
Seeta Persaud

Good morning Yas!  Clinton bailed and sold out on a whole lot of things. 

Hopefully, with more consciousness raising, he will know freedom in his lifetime.

If you ever decide to get that tattoo -- that would be great -- hope you will post a pic of it. ;)