73 year old Leonard Peltier’s Health is Slipping Away

73 year old Leonard Peltier’s Health is Slipping Away

Posted By Jazmyn Espinoza-Church September 12th, 2017 Blog

“I’m one step back from passing away.”


Native American political prisoner and activist Leonard Peltier has been imprisoned for more than 40 years, denied pardons even despite his health deteriorating throughout his sentence.

Very recently, though, it seems his health is slipping and he is very much aware of it. In early September, he was transported to an outside hospital for what he called a “routine heart stress test”. The test results were alarming-3 clogged arteries. The doctors scrambled to operate immediately, ending in a triple bypass, which is major surgery for anyone let alone a 73-year-old prisoner.

In an email from the International Leonard Peltier Defense committee sent on Sep 2nd he gives us more insight into what happened:

Good morning, everyone. OK. I know everyone did not know this, but it’s been a rough ride for me, BUT I’m one step back from passing away.

I was taken to an outside hospital in Leesburg, Fla., for what I was told was a routine heart stress test. And it turned out that they found clogged arteries, three of them! They decided to operate right away, and I just returned from triple-bypass heart surgery. My chest was opened and they took arteries from my legs and placed them in the blocked arteries. I had to be given a liter of blood. Now I am back at the prison and getting around in my wheelchair. They said this would help my shortness of breath and the pressure in my chest.”

The Great Grandfather and former member of AIM (the American Indian Movement) is currently serving time for the alleged murder of two FBI agents during a shootout on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

The Indigenous community was deeply saddened in January when President Obama denied him pardon for his charges, despite already serving 40+ years.

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About Jazmyn Espinoza-Church

Jazmyn Espinoza-Church is a bestselling Native American Author, advocate for Native youth, and freelance journalist. When she's not writing or mentoring she can be found in her Michigan home, hanging out with her fiance and two sons.

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26 thoughts on “73 year old Leonard Peltier’s Health is Slipping Away

  1. Lisa womack says:

    Ive always been an obama supporter but finding this out pisses me off! He shouldnt be there in the first place! How dare them keep denying him parole. Its a crime what they have done to him . I believe the great spirit will reward him for his suffering. God bless him!

    • I have to agree with u. If u go over his trial papers u can find that he is not guilty. The legal system sucks and Mr Pelletier is an innocent person. It’s a shame that the AIM is looked at in this way. The AIM has done nothing to any body at any time in my life. Mr Petllier I wish him well and from the bottom of my heart, I wish they would release him to enjoy his life with the Native people,s .. They let Omar Kadar out after killing a US soldier and rewarded 10,000,000 million dollar,s. How the shit did this happen?

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