From The Real News Network:
JASMINE HEISS: Well, Mr. Peltier, as you know intimately, has endured more than four decades of unjust incarceration by the United States of America. He is more than 70 years old, and he's currently being housed in a maximum security unit at Coleman Penitentiary in Florida. So he's thousands of miles from his community, from his family. Like so many other political prisoners in our country, he is being, many would say, intentionally cut off from the support networks and the people who sustain him through this very long struggle for justice and for freedom.
Compounding that is the fact that Mr. Peltier is very ill. He has an abdominal aortic aneurism, or triple A, which is if ruptures is one of the most fatal surgical emergencies known to modern medicine. And yet the Federal Bureau of Prisons still has not operated on or treated this abdominal aortic aneurism. He's had two MRIs and they insist that despite the fact that a 72-year-old man is being held in this maximum security facility, they will wait to operate until it reaches 5 centimeters. It's currently at 4.5.
The last couple of times that I've seen Leonard in Coleman he has said to me, "If President Obama doesn't act, I'm going to die here, and it won't be of old age." You yourself know that in this country, medical care for prisoners, particularly aging prisoners, is not something that's prioritized, and we are looking at a federal prison system that is in a crisis of understaffing already. In a system that has tried to silence Mr. Peltier, some would argue to kill him, I think we can reasonably expect that he will not receive the highest level of care.
So, at this moment, his clemency petition is sitting on the President's desk. We all know that there are not many days left in the Obama Administration and so if President Obama doesn't act by January 20th to grant Mr. Peltier clemency, it may be his last hope.
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