Letter to Clinton from Benjamin L. Hooks, NAACP Executive Director


National Association For The Advancement Of Colored People

Benjamin L. Hooks
Executive Director

June 28, 1993

President Bill Clinton
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Clinton:

I have recently reviewed the facts in the case of Jonathan Pollard and have concluded that the term of his sentence is unduly harsh and unjust. I am therefore respectfully urging you to grant Mr. Pollard executive clemency.

As a lawyer and a minister, as well as a former judge and C.E.O. of the NAACP, I have rarely encountered a case in which government arbitrariness was so clear cut and inexcusable. One can argue that Mr. Pollard has been denied due process, given the fact that he was sentenced to life imprisonment without a trial by his peers. Indeed, a comparison of sentences given to individuals convicted of similar crimes demonstrates that Mr. Pollard was singled out for punishment in excess of what others have received, including individuals convicted of aiding our nation's enemies.

As inexcusable as Mr. Pollard's acts were, he was never accused of treason or harming our nation. His crime was limited to aiding a close ally and this should have mitigated against such a harsh punishment.

I do hope that you will examine this with merciful compassion and order Mr. Pollard's release, after serving more than seven years in prison, including six in complete isolation.

I thank you in advance for your consideration.

Sincerely,
Benjamin L. Hooks
Executive Director (Retired)

CC. Attorney General Janet Reno
Bernard Nussbaum, White House Counsel


See Also: Facts of the Case