Marlene Post, Past Pres. of Hadassah, Appeals to Clinton
The Women's Zionist Organization of America, Inc.
December 1, 2000
President William Clinton
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Dear Mr. President:
Please forgive me for waiting so long to sing your praises. You have been an extraordinary leader and President and we all have so much to thank you for. I was also pleased that I had the opportunity to participate in Hillary's very successful campaign. I thank you both for the many opportunities I had during my Presidency of Hadassah and now my Chairmanship of Birthright Israel. Your graciousness during meetings and dinners at the White House touched me deeply.
Today I am writing in connection with your ongoing review of the matter of Jonathan Jay Pollard who has just completed his fifteenth year in jail.
I have not made known to you my views in favor of commutation or clemency prior to this letter, but now I want to bring to your attention additional information that I have just learned.
On September 20, 2000, new attorneys for Mr. Pollard filed a motion for resentencing in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. I have read the papers, which contain complete documentation, presenting a compelling and disturbing picture of serious government misconduct that went unchecked by Mr. Pollard's then-counsel. As a result of that misconduct, and as a result of his attorney's lack of follow-thru, Mr. Pollard was sentenced to life in prison on the basis of false allegations, and under circumstances that violated his plea agreement.
Perhaps most troubling, after Mr. Pollard had been sentenced to life in prison, his attorney failed to file a Notice of Appeal, which is simple, straightforward and would have been routinely done by any "sharp" attorney. By that failure, Mr. Pollard's then-counsel deprived his client of direct appellate review of the sentence. This put Mr. Pollard into an unreviewed sentence of life in prison.
The papers that have now been filed by new counsel seek to have Mr. Pollard resentenced on the basis of a truthful record, untainted by government misconduct, and in a manner consistent with the government's commitments under the plea agreement. The papers seek a court hearing so that the truth can be uncovered.
I respectfully urge you to consider this recent court submission as part of your executive review, which I hope and pray will result in an immediate commutation of Mr. Pollard's sentence.
Thank you for looking into this issue.
Respectfully and with great admiration,
Marlene E. Post
Past President of Hadassah
Chairman Birthright Israel