Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
December 3, 1999
William Jefferson Clinton
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President,
I am writing to urge that you give your strongest consideration to
commutation of the sentence imposed upon Jonathan Pollard. Based upon
the information that has been made available to this date, it is my view
that Mr. Pollard should be released.
Mr. Pollard committed the very serious crime of espionage on behalf of
an American ally, Israel, for which he was very justly convicted and
incarcerated. He has been in prison for 14 years, several in solitary
confinement, a sentence that far exceeds those imposed upon others for
comparable offenses. In fact, Mr. Pollard is the only person ever given
a life sentence for spying for an ally, and no other spy for a US ally
has ever served more than 10 years. In short, Mr. Pollard has paid his
debt to society.
As you know, President Bush denied an appeal for clemency in January,
1993, and a second appeal was denied by you a year later. I have heard
from many constituents, religious leaders, and colleagues on this
matter, and have spent a good deal of time reviewing the issues involved
in this case. After listening carefully to those on all sides, I have
come to the conclusion that, based upon the information that has been
made public, it is in the interest of judicial equity that Mr. Pollard's
sentence be commuted.
I look forward to your leadership on this very important issue.
Bill Pascrell, Jr.
Member of Congress