When the Hulk isn’t smashing his way through the latest Marvel feature, Mark Ruffalo is often seen working as an advocate for many causes. Recently, he teamed up with Greta Thunberg to sign a letter addressed to world leaders at the UN Climate Change Conference.
Now, he’s focusing on getting President Joe Biden to help release Native American activist Leonard Peltier. “Dear @POTUS @JoeBiden, please release this man,” Ruffalo said in a Tweet. “This is another injustice in a long line of injustices brought down on our Native Family here in the USA.”
In a controversial trial, Peltier was convicted of aiding and abetting murder in 1977 and is currently serving two life sentences in federal prison.
Hundreds of thousands of people have previously signed petitions to help see Peltier get released, claiming he has served over 44 years in prison for a crime he still denies he ever committed. One such petition cited the mishandling of his case as part of why he should be let free.
“Many evidentiary and procedural issues arose during Mr. Peltier’s prosecution, such as one alleged key eyewitness to the shootings later retracting her testimony and admitting that the FBI had threatened her and her family. A 1980 Freedom of Information Act ruling revealed to Mr. Peltier’s lawyers that the prosecution withheld important documentary evidence that might have assisted in Mr. Peltier’s case.”
Dear President Biden: Release Leonard Peltier – October 30, 2021
Now, even James Reynolds, one of the U.S. Attorneys who helped put Peltier in prison, has even called on the president to have him released in a stunning change of heart.
“I write today from a position rare for a former prosecutor: to beseech you to commute the sentence of a man who I helped put behind bars,” he wrote in a letter to the president. “With time, and the benefit of hindsight, I have realized that the prosecution and continued incarceration of Mr. Peltier was and is unjust.”
Perhaps now, with some major Marvel star power behind the movement like Mark Ruffalo, Leonard Peltier might be able to live out the rest of his days as a free man.