B'nai Brith Canada Protests President's Rejection of Clemency for Pollard

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Press Release

May 13, 1994
Fax: 202-456-2461

President Bill Clinton
The White House
Washington, D.C.

Mr. President:

We are writing to express our dismay and disappointment at your recent decision not to intervene in the case of confessed spy Jonathan Pollard and to commute his life sentence to time served.

We have no sympathy for those who spy against their own country. We cannot judge on our own what damage Mr. Pollard's actions may have caused. Given the fact of his willingness to plead guilty at trial and given his cooperation with authorities investigating the damage which may have been caused by his actions, we find his sentence to be unduly harsh if not cruel and mean-spirited. It is for these reasons, for the sake of fairness, balance and justice, that we turned to you in the past to urge a favorable reconsideration of Mr. Pollard's sentence. For these same reasons we turn to you again.

The United States is currently involved in bringing to justice a man and his wife accused of spying for the Soviet Union and then for Russia. Press reports regarding the huge sums of money paid for their services suggest they acted out of greed. Press reports also quote senior officials as suggesting that the actions of the accused led to numerous deaths of US agents and to almost incalculable damage to US security interests. If the maximum sentence were to be imposed on these accused it would be the same sentence as had been imposed on Mr. Pollard. Against this background, Mr. Pollard's sentence smacks of profound unfairness if not vindictiveness.

We urge that you reconsider your recent decision in the Pollard case and that you act to affirm the integrity of the US Justice system by commuting Mr. Pollard's sentence to time served.

Respectfully yours,

Gabriel Nachman, Executive Vice-President

J4JP Note:

The reference above is to the case of Aldrich Ames. Ames did in fact receive the same sentence as Jonathan Pollard, even though Ames' crimes were far more serious. Unlike Jonathan, Ames spied for an enemy, did commit treason and was responsible for the death of American agents. For further details see the Ames Page.