Two Jewish Leaders Visit Jonathan Pollard

Urge Authorities To Commute Life Sentence

Jan. 3, 1997 - The Jewish Press

BUTNER, N.C. - Rabbi Alexander M. Schindler and Israel Singer urged commutation of Jonathan Pollard's life sentence after visiting him at the federal penitentiary in Butner, North Carolina. Mr. Pollard, a former civilian analyst for the U.S. navy, is now eligible for parole after serving more than a decade for illegally passing confidential information to Israel.

A joint statement issued by Rabbi Schindler and Mr. Singer follows:

"No one denies that Jonathan Pollard was guilty of the act for which he was imprisoned for more than a decade, least of all Mr. Pollard himself. His crime of spying on the United States, a nation that has been so good to the Jewish people and to Israel, cannot be justified on any grounds; it has rightly earned the condemnation of the vast majority of the Jewish community.


enough is enough

. The American credo holds that justice must be tempered with mercy. After more than a decade of imprisonment, Mr. Pollard, who is now eligible for parole, deserves to have his sentence commuted.

"The prisoner has repeatedly expressed remorse for his actions. While what he did was inexcusable, he did plead guilty although he was never actually tried. A plea bargaining was arranged under which

the government promised not to seek a life sentence

. This was rejected by the judge -

a rare occurrence

- largely in response to a highly unusual ex-parte memorandum to the court from then Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger.

"Judaism is a faith that condemns the crime but condones forgiveness and redemption. It is in that sprit that we feel Jonathan Pollard has more than paid for his transgression and deserves to be released from prison.