July 6, 2014
Dear President Obama,
So here we are…again! My last formal letter to you concerning federal inmate Leonard Peltier (89637-132) was written this past April for my May Birthday Month; I sent it to you via USPS 16 times and tweeted it to you from my blog almost daily for a month…and then of course I modified it and sent part in an e-mail numerous times. Of course I’ve also been sending you other e-mails and tweets concerning Leonard. I’m not sure how many times you will receive this specific letter; I’ll call it “2014; The Summer of My Discontent Letter”. Obviously you have not heeded any of my previous letters, e-mails, tweets, or phone calls regarding Leonard since you took office in January 2009 because he still remains enslaved…but I am ever hopeful. I must be hopeful, the alternative is that you will knowingly allow an innocent man to die in prison for a crime he did not commit…and thus you will further continue to allow the FBI, Other Federal Agencies, and the Justice System to abuse and violate the Constitutional, Civil, Human, (and Treaty where applicable) Rights of countless other Individuals. It’s too difficult for me to live with that thought, so I’m gonna keep pushing you to do right and grant Executive Clemency to Leonard. I’m also gonna keep pushing you to seriously get it together for not only Federal Prison Reform but also State Prison Reform; you need to get together with a plan that also includes State Governors. After all, Constitutional, Civil, Human, (and Treaty where applicable) Rights abuses and violations happen within State jurisdictions as well as Federal jurisdictions. Please understand that I mean no disrespect, but the disregard for Human Rights in America by those who supposedly can make Positive Changes worsens daily; it wears one down to see such egregious behaviors.
Since the start of this 2014 Summer Season, I have been sickened by news articles that deal with both our Federal and State Justice Systems. Actually I am sickened daily, but I’ve seen a couple of news items that really put my nausea and disgust for our Justice Systems over the top! The first article that caught my attention was about a mentally ill man incarcerated in Colorado. This individual was mistreated by Correction Officers and had a preventable death. The video that accompanied the news article showed the mistreatment and the subsequent negligence which lead in part to this man’s death. Christopher Lopez died in 2013 and there is now a pending lawsuit from his family. That same day I was alerted to the abuse and subsequent death of an inmate in Florida by Prison Guards. Darren Rainey was burned to death in a locked scalding hot shower. He presumably also had a mental illness; his death took place in 2012. Two years hence and still no complete investigation or autopsy report has been completed….his family waits. In our country where some 2.2 million individuals are incarcerated, I know that there are so many more stories of abuse, mistreatment, neglect and more. Like Mr. Lopez and Mr. Rainey (may they rest in peace and grace) many individuals who are incarcerated are mentally ill or mentally incapacitated. Like Leonard Peltier, many are innocent but have been incarcerated due to malfeasance, fraud and scapegoating by police and/or agents of the State or Federal Justice Systems. Guilt by and large does not appear to always be a determining factor for incarceration within the United States. Indeed there have been many Individuals who have spent decades behind bars before they were released with an “oops, I guess you were really innocent all this time.” And there are those who have been executed and found innocent posthumously. There’s a saying that says “crime pays”, but we both know incarceration in America “pays” even more!
As long as we’re talking about abuses and violations of Constitutional, Civil, Human, (and Treaty where applicable) Rights on State and Federal levels, let’s not forget State and Federal Congresses and State and Federal Supreme Courts. Our Federal Congress continues to act as though they are in session to do any thing but work together amicably for the benefit of the populace; many State Congresses follow this abhorrent behavior. My e-mail is full of how terrible so and so Senator or House Representative is because he or she did not do such and such. Where is the working in Good Faith? The Federal Supreme Court…Really? I don’t think so! If lower courts carry on as the Federal Supreme Court does (and they do) then our country is truly doomed. I know full well that there are ways to undo ill-conceived laws, and I beseech you to do all you can to undo ALL laws that hold Corporations-as-People above laws for actual Human Beings. Please be reminded that people-who-vote and women-who-reproduce are all Human Beings. By-the-way, also be reminded that Corporations-as-People may throw a lot of money around to “buy” Politicians and Votes, but they cannot actually Vote or Reproduce!
Yes, this is the Summer of my Discontent and I am asking you to PLEASE use your Presidential Executive Authority to release Leonard Peltier and while you’re at it there are innumerable others who are also languishing behind prisons bars who should not be there. Talk with State Governors, they too are over-looking and ignoring the innocent individuals under their watch in their prisons. Take prison reform on all levels seriously. Take treatment of the mentally ill seriously; no one should die as Christopher Lopez and Darren Rainey did. Have a heart-to-heart with Congress and suggest that Governors do the same in their States. Government on ALL levels is for the people…period! The Federal Supreme Court, isn’t…period! Time to make some big changes! Let’s make the rest of 2014 a time where from now on PEOPLE come before Corporations!!
As always with Respect I Thank You for your time and considerations. In Peace.
Bonnie F. Walker, RN, BS, LNC