IN BRIEF

Protest at state Capitol

About a dozen people, half with masks, gathered after noon Friday outside the state Capitol, waiving signs that read “Solidarity with Humanity” and “Capitalism is Non-Essential.”

Mike Davis, one of the organizers, said the group gathered because of May Day and recent protests against the economic shutdown due to the novel coronavirus.

“The Trump supporters who’ve been coming out, they don’t speak for us,” Davis said. “We’re the real protesters, against corporate greed and the exploitation of Mother Earth.”

Davis, a landscaper and musician, said the aim was raising awareness of imprisoned South Dakota indigenous rights activist Leonard Peltier.

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Peltier, a member of the American Indian Movement, was convicted in 1977 for killing two FBI agents in a shootout. Human rights advocates have raised doubts about whether he was guilty and whether he received a fair trial.

Navajo on death row denied

PHOENIX — The only Native American on federal death row lost a bid Thursday to look into potential racial bias in his case. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a decision by a federal court in Arizona that Lezmond Mitchell had no grounds to interview jurors.

Mitchell was convicted of the 2001 murder of a fellow Navajo tribal member and her 9-year-old granddaughter on the reservation that extends into Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. He was scheduled to be executed last December, but the 9th Circuit put it on hold because of his attorneys’ appeal.

Staff and wire reports

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