Congress of the United States
House of Representatives

December 3, 1999

William Jefferson Clinton
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I am writing to urge that you give your strongest consideration to commutation of the sentence imposed upon Jonathan Pollard. Based upon the information that has been made available to this date, it is my view that Mr. Pollard should be released.

Mr. Pollard committed the very serious crime of espionage on behalf of an American ally, Israel, for which he was very justly convicted and incarcerated. He has been in prison for 14 years, several in solitary confinement, a sentence that far exceeds those imposed upon others for comparable offenses. In fact, Mr. Pollard is the only person ever given a life sentence for spying for an ally, and no other spy for a US ally has ever served more than 10 years. In short, Mr. Pollard has paid his debt to society.

As you know, President Bush denied an appeal for clemency in January, 1993, and a second appeal was denied by you a year later. I have heard from many constituents, religious leaders, and colleagues on this matter, and have spent a good deal of time reviewing the issues involved in this case. After listening carefully to those on all sides, I have come to the conclusion that, based upon the information that has been made public, it is in the interest of judicial equity that Mr. Pollard's sentence be commuted.

I look forward to your leadership on this very important issue.

Bill Pascrell, Jr.
Member of Congress