UJF of San Diego Protests Clinton's Rejection of Clemency for Pollard

United Jewish Federation of San Diego County

4797 Mercury Street
San Diego, California 91111-2102
619/571-3444 - Fax 619/571-0701

March 24, 1994

President William Clinton
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Clinton:

As representatives of the San Diego Jewish community, we are deeply disappointed in your decision to deny clemency to Jonathan Pollard.

Mr. Pollard's sentence of life imprisonment with a recommendation of no parole, was followed by ten months of unjustified incarceration in a mental institution for the criminally insane and then by more than six years solitary confinement, which only recently ended. A comparison of sentences given to individuals convicted of similar crimes demonstrates unequivocally that Mr. Pollard was singled out for punishment in excess of what others have received, including people convicted of aiding our nation's enemies.

In a country which enshrines the ideals of compassion and redemption, Pollard's case is an aberration. He was sentenced to life in prison despite the government's promise not to seek such a penalty, and despite sharp judicial criticism of the government's compliance with Pollard's plea-bargain agreement, his sentence was upheld by the court on technical grounds.

Pollard was never accused of, or charged with, intending to harm the United States. Nor was he accused of, or charged with committing treason - aiding a national enemy. He was indicted on the far less serious crime of passing classified information to a foreign government - Israel, one of our closest allies.

Commuting Jonathan Pollard's sentence would be an act of great compassion and in no way compromise the security interest of the United States.

Rebecca Newman
United Jewish Federation of San Diego County