Leonard Peltier’s Serious Illness Sparks Renewed Effort for Presidential Clemency

Leonard Peltier Matters

Published January 10, 2016

COLEMAN, FLORIDA — News out of the U.S. Penitentiary in Coleman, Florida that Leonard Peliter (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians) is in need of surgery for an abdominal aortic aneurism has renewed a call for presidential clemency by President Barak Obama.

Abdominal aortic aneurisms are dangerous and serious medical conditions.

Leonard Peltier

Leonard Peltier has been in prison for 40 years

While more information will be known today about Peltier’s current medical crisis after a MRI is performed, the  the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee (ILPDC) feels Peltier, who turned 70 last September 12, deserves to spend the remainder of is life a free man.

Peltier has been incarcerated for the past 40 years for the killing of two FBI agents at Oglala on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975. Many legal experts maintain many parts of the United States’ case against were false and he did not receive a fair trial.

In a statement to Native News Online on Saturday, January 9, 2016, International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee writes:

“The ILPDC requests that all individuals, groups, and organizations dedicate themselves to working in support of clemency for Leonard Peltier by continuing to call, write and email the White House to voice support for his immediate release.

Free Leonard PeltierMany feel that should Leonard die in prison he will become a martyr and this will have significant negative impacts on the  gains made in improving the relationship between President Obama’s administration and Tribal Nations.”

Lenny Foster (Diné), who has served as Peltier’s spiritual advisor for decades says:

“He is eligible for release on executive clemency. He has spent the last 40 years in federal prisons and too many questions remain. He was not the shooter. Many witnesses were threatened, some were coerced into providing false testimony, evidence was fabricated and he did not receive a fair trial.

Leonard Peltier & Lenny Foster at U.S. Penitentiary in Coleman, Florida in January 2014.

Leonard Peltier & Lenny Foster at U.S. Penitentiary in Coleman, Florida in January 2014.

We need to support the executive clemency for Leonard Peltier. He is not in the best of health and he needs to be released by President Obama so he can go home and spend his remaining days with his family, friends and grandchildren and great grandchildren.”

“Measures  of  reconciliation  should  include  efforts  to  identify  and  heal particular  sources  of  open  wounds….new  or renewed consideration should be given to clemency for Leonard Peltier,” stated then UN Special Rapporteur James Anaya in a 2012 report.

Interested parties can make phone calls to the White House and write letters of support for executive clemency.

TheInternational Leonard Peltier Defense Committee also stated:

“We further urge everyone to contact the Bureau of Prisons requesting immediate medical attention continue. We hope to have more news on Leonard’s condition soon.

Please visit http://www.bop.gov/inmates/concerns.jsp. Make reference to Leonard Peltier #89637-132 and USP Coleman I. Voice your concern about Leonard’s medical treatment, and let the federal Bureau of Prisons know that the world is watching. We demand that Leonard receive the best possible care.”

Arthur Jacobs contributed to this article from Emeryville, California.

CORRECTION: The quote by then UN Special Rapporteur James Anaya was erroneoulsy attributed to Peter Clark, co-chair of the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee in an earlier edition. Corrected on Sunday, January 10, 2016 at 12:35 p.m. – EST.


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