ACLU Files Amicus In Support of New Pollard Motion

Justice4JP Release - December 6, 2000

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed an amicus brief in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, in support of a new motion by Jonathan Pollard's attorneys to gain access to the sealed portions of the Pollard record.

The new motion, which was filed by Pollard's attorneys Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman on November 29, 2000, is critical to efforts to secure executive clemency or commutation. It is is not related to an earlier motion seeking to overturn Mr. Pollard's sentence which was filed in September of this year.

Since Mr. Pollard was sentenced to life in prison on March 4, 1987, no attorney for Mr. Pollard has been allowed access to these classified documents. The United States Attorney for the District of Columbia has refused Mr. Pollard's security-cleared counsel, Eliot Lauer, access to the documents.

Over many years, officials in the government who have opposed executive clemency for Mr. Pollard have invoked these classified documents in support of their views that clemency should be denied.

Basic fairness dictates that Mr. Pollard's security-cleared defense attorney should be permitted access to these documents in order to respond to charges that the documents contain evidence that warrants denial of clemency.

Mr. Lauer, who has been granted "top secret" security clearance by the U.S. Government, wishes to review the largely-classified 46-page sentencing memorandum submitted to the Court in 1987 by then-Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, as well as the classified portions of various other memoranda submitted by the government and by the defense prior to Mr. Pollard's sentencing. The amicus brief filed by the American Civil Liberties Union December 5, 2000, eloquently supports this request.

The ACLU amicus and related legal documents will be made available on this website later.

See Also:
  • Legal Document: ACLU Amicus Brief
  • Court Case 2000 Page
  • Legal Document: Motion to Unseal the Pollard Record