Former Republican Senator Alan K. Simpson of Wyoming is the latest American leader to call for Jonathan Pollard's release. Simpson is currently co-chair of President Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.
April 25, 2011
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President,
I join many other distinguished Americans to request that you exercise your power of clemency and commute Jonathan Pollard's prison sentence to time served.
Mr. Pollard is currently serving his 26th year of a life sentence (seven of which were spent in solitary confinement). He was indicted on one count of passing classified information to an ally without intent to harm the United States - an offense that normally results in a 2-4 year sentence. He pled guilty under a plea agreement with which he fully complied but which was ignored by the sentencing judge.
I do not condone espionage, nor do I underestimate the gravity of Pollard's crime. But it is patently clear that Mr. Pollard's sentence is severely disproportionate and (as several federal judges have noted) a gross miscarriage of justice.
Religious leaders from all faiths and prominent national figures have publicly stated their support for Mr. Pollard's release: VP Dan Quayle, Senators McCain, Specter, DeConcini, Bennett, Congressman Barney Frank and thirty-nine Democrat members of the House, Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Schultz, Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Rev. Hesburgh of Notre Dame, Benjamin Hooks of the NAACP, Evangelist leader Pat Robertson, former federal judge Leighton, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olsen, Gary Bauer, Pastor John Hagee, and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel. Perhaps most noteworthy, similar support has come from those who have seen the classified information of the damage that Pollard caused - former CIA Director James Woolsey, Congressman Anthony Weiner, former Deputy Attorney General Phillip Heymann, and former head of the Senate Intelligence Committee Senator Dennis DeConcini.
After more than two decades in the harshest prison conditions, Mr. Pollard's health is declining. He has repeatedly expressed remorse for his actions, and by all accounts has been a model prisoner.
Commuting his sentence to time served would be a wholly appropriate exercise of your power of clemency - as well as a matter of basic compassion and American justice.
Respectfully and sincerely,