Letter From Senator Levin to Elie Wiesel

United States Senate
Washington DC 20510-2202

November 13, 1997
Mr. Elie Wiesel
University Professor and
Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities
Boston University
745 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

Dear Elie:

Relative to the issue raised in you: letter dated July 30th regarding Jonathan Pollard, I am unable to meet with him. However, I met a few months back with the Pardon Attorney of the Justice Department and expressed my view that the government violated the terms of Pollard's plea agreement by not seeking a sentence of "a substantial period of incarceration" which it had agreed to do. Instead, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger argued for what can only be considered a life sentence when he said, "it is difficult for me... to conceive of a greater harm to national security than that caused by the defendant" and called the crime "treason", which it was not.

I also pointed out to the Justice Department that two recently convicted spies, Harold James Nicholson, who spied for Russia, and Earl Edwin Pitts, who spied for the Soviet Union and Russia, and whose actions directly resulted in putting lives at risk, received lesser sentences than Pollard. The Pardon Attorney was not allowed to comment on my views or discuss the details of Pollard's clemency pleas in any way.

I also would be interested in finding out why Pollard has not requested a parole hearing* Enclosed please find a copy of a letter I sent to Jonathan Pollard on a related matter.

Best wishes.

Carl Levin

* See Parole Page: April 5, 1998 Media Release for the answer to Senator Levin's question about why parole is not an option.