Congressman Walter Tucker III Calls on Clinton for Clemency

Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

August 5, 1993

President William Jefferson Clinton
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

As a member of Congress I am dismayed by the disproportionate prison term received by Jonathan Pollard, and I wish to voice my plea for justice. Pollard, convicted of one count of passing classified information to an ally, was sentenced to life in prison.

I on no way condone acts of espionage, nor do I underestimate the gravity of Jonathan Pollard's crime. Nonetheless, the lifetime sentence imposed on Mr. Pollard is unduly severe and inconsistent with the sentences given to other Americans convicted of similar offenses. Indeed, Mr. Pollard's sentence is harsher than the sentences meted out to individuals convicted of spying for enemy countries and is the harshest sentence in United States history for the crime of spying for an allied country.

Furthermore, in return for the government's promise to request a lesser term at sentencing, Pollard pled guilty and fully cooperated with prosecutors and security agency investigators. A term of life in prison with a recommendation of no parole - the maximum sentence possible - is excessive in this instance.

I am therefore asking that you consider extending clemency to Mr. Pollard as a humanitarian gesture. I do not believe this would call the court's judgment into question, but would be a strong sign of forgiveness and reconciliation, a sign of hope which we need in our world.


Member of Congress