Mukasey: Commute Pollard's sentence to time served

Gil Hoffman & JPost Staff - Excerpt: The Jerusalem Post - December 21, 2010

Former US A-G sends letter to Obama, says agent didn't have motive to harm US; Pollard in poor health; not yet informed of PM's request.

Former US attorney-general Michael Mukasey sent a letter to US President Barack Obama, released Wednesday, calling for Jonathan Pollard's sentence to be commuted to time served: "[Pollard] has not been alleged by anyone to have had any motive to harm the United States. In these circumstances, a life sentence can only be considered

utterly disproportionate

to the crime," the letter read.

"I had occasion myself to consider life sentences, and indeed to impose them. In more than 18 years on the bench, I imposed such sentences on four defendants," Mukasey said.

Earlier on Wednesday Esther Pollard said, during an interview with Israel Radio, that Pollard has not yet been informed of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's decision to officially request that the US release the Israeli agent.

According to Pollard's wife, Jonathan is in very ill health and therefore could not call her so she could "give him the good news."

Esther Pollard said that Jonathan has been hospitalized in prison three times recently. She added that he had to cancel a visit by Jewish leaders on Tuesday because of his health.

"This good news can give him strength to continue," said a tearful Esther Pollard.

J4JP Adds:

Former AG Muckasey's comment quoted above indicating that in all his years on the bench as a judge he had imposed life sentences only four times, has a powerful impact only in context. That is, writes Muckasey, he imposed life sentences in cases where the crimes committed were absolutely heinous. But, says the former AG, the offense Pollard committed did not nearly approach the same level as these offenders.

Here is the full quote:

In more than 18 years on the bench, I imposed such sentences on four defendants. Two of them committed and ordered multiple murders, often under circumstances of great cruelty. The other two were convicted in a terrorism prosecution, one having committed murder with his own hand and plotted further killing, the other having provided the theological justification that he knew would be, and in fact was, taken as the order by others to commit multiple murders. Pollard's offense does not nearly approach any of those.

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