Senior Politicians in Washington Call for Pollard's Release

Arik Bender - Maariv - November 15, 2010

Translated to English by J4JP

Appeals to the President of the United States Barack Obama to grant clemency to Jonathan Pollard continue to grow. Thirty-six members of Congress have signed

a petition

which is slated to be delivered to the President this Thursday, in which they entreat him to use his unlimited powers of executive clemency to free the Israeli agent from prison.

The petition was the initiative of 4 Democrat House Reps: Barney Frank (MA), Bill Pascrell (NJ), Ed Townes (NY) who is the head of the house oversight committee and Anthony Weiner (NY) who is known for his long-time involvement in the struggle for justice for Jonathan Pollard.

Weiner sent a letter to the then-Attorney General Albert Gonzales in June of 2005 in which he wrote that that Pollard's sentence was grossly disproportionate and that Pollard's constitutional rights had been violated. In March 2008 Weiner wrote another letter to President Bush in which he called upon the president to free Pollard.

An Act of Compassion

In the petition which will be delivered this week, the Congressmen wrote:

"We write to urge you to use your constitutional power to extend clemency to Jonathan Pollard, thereby releasing him from prison after the time he has already served.

"Such an exercise of the clemency power would not in any way imply doubt about his guilt, nor cast any aspersions on the process by which he was convicted. Those who have such views are of course entitled to continue to have them, but the clemency grant has nothing to do with that.

"We believe that there has been a great disparity from the standpoint of justice between the amount of time Mr. Pollard has served and the time that has been served - or not served at all - by many others who were found guilty of similar activity on behalf of nations that, like Israel, are not adversarial to us."

"Recently," the Congressmen pointed out, "the US allowed a large number of Russians, who had been spying on us for the country that had long been our major adversary, to leave with no punishment whatsoever. This makes it very hard for many to understand why Mr. Pollard should continue to serve beyond the nearly twenty-five years he has already been in prison....It is indisputable in our view that the nearly twenty-five years that Mr. Pollard has served stands as a sufficient time from the standpoint of either punishment or deterrence."

In conclusion, the Congressmen wrote, "We see clemency for Mr. Pollard as an act of compassion justified by the way others have been treated by our justice system; as an act that will do nothing whatsoever to lessen our defenses against espionage; and a step that far from hurting the national security, could advance it by the impact it would have within Israel. We urge you to use the clemency power in this case."

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