Congressman John W. Olver Calls Commutation of Pollard's Sentence

Congress of the United States

House of Representatives
Washington DC 20515-2101

John W. Olver
1st District Massachusetts

November 23, 1993

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

Dear Mr. President:

I am writing to urge you to carefully consider commuting the sentence of Jonathan Pollard.

I recognize the gravity of this decision, and I believe that acts of espionage deserve punishment. However, I believe it is clear that the life sentence imposed on Mr. Pollard was not in keeping with his crime, passing classified information to an ally, or with the sentences imposed on others convicted of much more damaging acts of espionage.

This sentence is particularly disturbing in view of Secretary Weinberger's pre-sentencing letter accusing Pollard of treason - a term the Government has admitted was a "regrettable mistake" - which came after the United States agreed to a plea agreement, in recognition of the Pollards' cooperation. Indeed, you are probably aware of Judge Williams' opinion stating that "the Government's breach of the plea bargain was a fundamental miscarriage of justice."

I think that together these elements call for a commutation of the sentence of Jonathan Pollard, and I hope you will uphold the best traditions of American justice in considering this.


John W. Olver
Member of Congress

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