Clinton Petitioned On Pollard Review
Hadar Avraham - The Jewish Press (NY) - December 8, 2000
Congressman Anthony Weiner made a direct appeal late last month both to
President Bill Clinton and to Wilma Lewis, United States Attorney for
the District of Columbia, on behalf of Jonathan Jay Pollard, imprisoned
for life on charges of spying for Israel.
Weiner based his petition on irregularities in Pollard's legal
proceedings, citing the injustice of denying Pollard's new attorneys,
Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman, access to all the material relevant
to the case.
While government officials stand firm on their decision to withhold
certain documents which they claim would warrant a denial of clemency or
commutation, Weiner maintained that "to continue to deny the request for
access to material prohibits Mr. Pollard's attorneys from adequately
addressing these claims," adding that "basic fairness requires that
counsel have access to the materials on which the government relies."
Two days earlier, Weiner had co-signed a letter to Clinton with fellow
congress members, Jerrold Nadler and Janice Schakowsky in which he raised the issue of a legal
procedure overlooked by Pollard's then attorney.
This omission, asserted Weiner, "appears to have deprived (Pollard) of
direct appellate review of the sentence, and doomed Mr. Pollard to an
unreviewed sentence of life in prison."
On the basis of this action, which Weiner called a "simple and
straightforward task," he requested a resentencing "so that the truth
can finally be uncovered."
Weiner also referred to a motion for re-sentencing filed on September
20, based on serious government misconduct which passed undiscerned by
Pollard's attorney at the time.
Lending his support to the ideas aired by Weiner, Nadler and Schakowsky,
was Fernando Ferrer, borough president of the Bronx, who also wrote to
Clinton expressing similar ideas.
"'I urge you to commute Mr. Pollard's sentence, and, at the very least,
I urge that the government not oppose Mr. Pollard's application for a new sentencing hearing,"
wrote Ferrer to Clinton.
Court Case Page 2000 Page
Calls for Pollard's Release Page