Why Parole Is Not An Option

April 5, 1998 - Media Release

The following letter to Malcolm Hoenlien by Jonathan Pollard provides a quick understanding of why parole is not an option and why there is no purpose to submitting a new petition for commutation at this time.

March 20, 1998

Dear Malcolm:

I have recently learned that you will be discussing the issues of parole and commutation with Mr. Ruff (a White House legal counsel). I think you should understand my position on the matter: both are futile.

Malcolm, I already know what the Parole Commission intends to recommend - a 15 year set-aside. If the White House claims otherwise they are lying through their teeth. A 15 year set-aside means not only that parole will be denied but also that the case cannot be revisited for another 15 years!

Furthermore, I have actually seen my parole file. It is packed with so many derogatory memoranda from Admiral Inman, Caspar Weinberger, Ed Meese, Joseph Digenova, Janet Reno, and the President himself that it is little wonder that every post-conviction legal expert that I have consulted has characterized the possibility of my asking for parole as the legal equivalent of suicide.

These legal experts have unanimously indicated that unless the President writes a letter to the Parole Commission which unambiguously calls for my immediate release, the procedure will be an absolute disaster for me.

As far as commutation is concerned, the President has acted so disrespectfully on this score that, barring securing a written promise from him to grant it, I will never again submit a request to this man. To date I have submitted 4 lengthy and detailed petitions to President Clinton, none of which he actually read. In fact, the last one I submitted was rejected 2 weeks before the White House had ever received it! You tell me - how do you reject a petition for clemency which hasn't even been received?...

Clearly, the whole procedure was a joke and in light of that fact I am not going to be a party to another futile effort. Having said that, if there should be a clear indication - in writing - from the President that he will grant commutation then, naturally I will submit a simple, one page request, via my attorney, without delay. But to date, I have not seen any indication that this is contemplated by the White House.

The only conclusion I can reach is the statements made by Mr. Ruff (in response to the Conference's letter to the President) were disingenuous and disrespectful in that they were playing our Jewish leadership for fools. This isn't spinning our wheels Malcolm; this is throwing mud in our face. And once you have ascertained that the White House raised these two issues of parole and commutation merely to deflect their unwillingness to address the true issues of this case and to end my ordeal, I hope that you will make a public statement that the White House's position is unjustified and unacceptable.

If you don't do this, Malcolm, then all you will have accomplished by going to the White House is to receive a personal slap in the face to complement the collective one we have all suffered.

Stay well.


See Also:
  • The Weintraub Report on Parole

  • Return to Parole page