Senator Schumer: Pollard Sentence Excessive

Media Release - May 28, 1999

Charles E. Schumer


United States Senate
WASHINGTON, DC 20510-3203

May 11, 1999

Rabbi Pesach Lerner
National Council of Young Israel
3 West 16th Street
New York, New York 10011

Dear Rabbi Lerner:

Thank you for contacting me to express your concern over the case of Jonathan Pollard. I appreciate your concern on this issue.

The question in the Pollard case is whether the punishment fits the crime. With the information we have to date, it appears that Mr. Pollard's sentence is inconsistent with that of other Americans convicted for similar offenses and in fact is harsher than sentences meted out to individuals convicted of spying for enemy nations.

I was heartened by President Clinton's promise to review the Pollard case.* Currently he is meeting with the leading heads of our security agencies in order to determine the best possible solution. It is my hope that upon review an adequate compromise can be reached.

Again thank you for contacting on this vital issue. If I can be of further assistance on this or any other matter, please call on me again.

Charles E. Schumer
United States Senate

*Justice for Jonathan Pollard Note:

President Clinton's "review" of the case is no source of optimism that justice will be done. The national security establishment which has collaborated in this miscarriage of justice and sustained it all these years, continues to have vested interests in maintaining the falsehoods about Pollard and Israel that it has spent years spinning.

Moreover, in consulting only with "the leading heads of our security agencies", the President has chosen to hear just one side of the story, and only from those elements who can least be relied upon for honesty or accuracy in this case. What is more, neither Pollard nor his attorneys are permitted to see the secret charges against him or to rebut whatever lies these officials are telling the President. This "review process" merely perpetuates the on-going denial of Jonathan Pollard's due process rights that began at the time of his sentencing.