Assemblyman DiGaetano Calls for Pollard's Release

New Jersey General Assembly
Majority Leader
Paul DiGaetano
Assemblyman, 36th District
Parts of Passaic-Bergen-Essex Counties

October 6, 1999

The Honorable William Jefferson Clinton
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I am writing to you on behalf of Jonathan Pollard. As you are well aware, Mr. Pollard was convicted of espionage for transmitting secret documents to Israel. I understand, Mr. Pollard is currently serving his fourteenth year of a life sentence, and further that no other spy for a U.S. ally has served more than ten years.

In light of the recent clemency given to fourteen terrorists who were involved with a bombing campaign resulting in multiple deaths of innocent civilians, I believe that it would be reasonable, at this time, to re-consider the possibility of extending a pardon to Jonathan Pollard.

I do not condone what Mr. Pollard did. It should be noted, however, that unlike other espionage cases, no loss of life resulted in Mr. Pollard's actions. In fact, he was never indicted for harming the United States, or for compromising codes, agents, or war plans. Additionally, Mr. Pollard was never charged with treason. In order to spare the United States, a potentially embarrassing, long, difficult and expensive trial, Mr. Pollard agreed to a plea bargain. Despite this plea bargain, Jonathan Pollard received a life sentence. I understand this to be a complete violation of the plea agreement he had reached with the government.

Mr. President, surely if you could see your way to pardoning terrorists who were responsible for the deaths of innocent civilians, you certainly can consider a pardon for someone whose actions never caused the death, or even the injury of a single American.

I look forward to your consideration of Jonathan Pollard.


Paul DiGaetano
Assembly Majority Leader

See also: 1993 New Jersey Resolution on Pollard