NY State Senator Says Release Pollard & Secret Evidence
News Release From State Senator Seymour P. Lachman - March 13, 2000
New York State Senate, 22nd District
Senator Lachman urges President Clinton to release secret Weinberger memorandum on PollardWe have all heard the adage "the punishment should fit the crime." With these words in mind, State Senator Seymour P. Lachman (D-Brooklyn) joined with many elected officials and communal leaders in stating that the punishment inflicted upon Jonathan Pollard has been too harsh, and after being in jail for over 15 years, he should be granted parole.
The release of Pollard, who was sentenced to life in prison without parole, has been an issue for quite some time. After waiving his Sixth Amendment right to a trial and admitting to one count of conspiracy to commit espionage, Pollard was slapped with a life sentence without parole, a punishment normally meted out to a person guilty of the more serious crime of treason. The determining factor for the Pollard sentence is contained in a secret memorandum by former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, a document that has been deliberately kept from the general public.
"It is my sincere belief that in the interests of justice and fairness you should release former Secretary of Defense Weinberger's memorandum and any other documentation that you have on this issue," Senator Lachman wrote in a letter to President Clinton. "Almost a generation has passed since the memorandum was written to influence the court's decision and it is long overdue to be made public."
In conclusion, Senator Lachman stated in his letter, "Since the Justice Department has used the Weinberger memorandum as justification for Mr. Pollard's sentence, the only way that the Pollard affair can be put rest is if all the available documentation were released. The American people should be given the opportunity to decide for themselves on the appropriateness of Mr. Pollard's sentence.
The Weinberger Memorandum was submitted to the judge at the last moment during Jonathan Pollard's sentencing. In a recent interview with Middle East Quarterly, Caspar Weinberger indicated that the classified Memorandum was the result of improper ex parte communication he had with the sentencing judge, Aubrey Robinson. Weinberger stated that Robinson had covertly requested the Memorandum from the former Secretary of Defense. Robinson did not advise Pollard or his attorneys that he had requested this submission, and he did not permit them to study the document before the sentencing. Without the opportunity to pre-view the Memorandum, Pollard was effectively denied the opportunity to challenge it when it was produced on the day of sentencing. Since that day, neither Jonathan Pollard nor his cleared attorneys have ever been permitted to access the Weinberger Memorandum in order to challenge it in a court of law - a clear violation of his constitutional right to due process.