Rep. Weiner to Bush: Free Pollard Now!

Congress of the United States
House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515-3209

August 7, 2002

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

I write to request that you grant clemency to Jonathan Pollard.

Today is Mr. Pollard's 48th birthday. This is the 17th year he has celebrated his birthday in prison. No other person convicted of espionage on behalf of a United States ally has ever been imprisoned for so long.

Mr. Pollard has admitted he broke U.S. laws. He has expressed sorrow for what he did. Mr. Pollard cooperated fully with the investigation into his activities and he waived his right to a jury trial. He has served more than enough time for the crime of passing information to an ally.

The life sentence which Jonathan Pollard is now serving is not a reflection of the severity of the crimes he committed, but rather the result of ineffective counsel and a damage assessment report written by an intelligence community that was badly shaken by unrelated espionage cases earlier that year. In a review of Mr. Pollard's case, Former federal Judge George Leighton wrote, "[t]he evidence shows that the government engaged in serious misconduct that went unchecked by an ineffective defense counsel, Richard Hibey, and... these constitutional violations severely prejudiced Mr. Pollard, and resulted in his sentence of life in prison."

Mr. Pollard did commit a terrible crime and he deserved to be punished for his action. However, after reviewing the facts of the case and receiving multiple classified briefings on this matter, I believe that he has served a sentence that far exceeds the appropriate term for the crimes he has committed. Mr. President, the time has come to free Jonathan Pollard. As he celebrates his 48th birthday in jail, I respectfully urge you to grant him clemency and send him home to Israel.

Thank you for your consideration of this matter.


Signed: ANTHONY D. WEINER, Member of Congress