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Federal parole denied for Leonard Peltier, convicted of murdering FBI agents

Peltier, 79, has long maintained his innocence in the killing of the two men in 1975

year-old member of the American Indian Movement convicted of murdering two FBI agents during a shootout on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

Peltier, who has maintained his innocence during his 47 years in prison, appeared for a parole hearing last month at the federal complex in Coleman, Fla., northwest of Orlando. His next opportunity for parole is set for June 2039, said Kevin Sharp, his attorney.

In 1973, Native Americans led by the American Indian Movement occupied Wounded Knee, S.D., over Indian rights issues in a historic standoff with federal authorities. In 1974, two AIM leaders, Dennis Banks and Russell Means, went on trial in federal court in St. Paul. The trial ended when U.S. District Judge Fred Nichol dismissed the charges, citing government conduct.


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