Colman Appeals to Lieberman's Conscience
Media Release - June 10, 2000
Justice4JP Prefacing Note:
Unlike Senator Joseph Lieberman, Senator Charles Schumer has seen Jonathan Pollard's classified file. Now that Schumer has publicly confirmed that there is nothing in the file to justify the harsh, unprecedented sentence that Pollard is serving, NY Assemblyman Sam Colman's latest appeal to Lieberman takes on added significance. Colman's letter follows:
Hon. Joseph Lieberman
United States Senator
706 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-0703
June 1, 2000.
Dear Senator Lieberman,
In response to your letter of May 10, 2000, I am once again appealing to you to write to President Clinton explaining that you have reviewed the Pollard matter and how unjustly and disproportionately he was sentenced.
Your letter takes issue with me for referring to a letter sent to President Clinton against Pollard's release, as "the Lieberman letter". You claim that you were not the initiator of the letter, only one of 61 signers and therefore it should be called the "Shelby-Kerrey letter". You further state that I am the only person ever to have called it the "Lieberman letter".
I would like to respectfully inform you that among supporters who feel that Jonathan Pollard has been languishing in prison unjustly, the letter is known as the "infamous Lieberman letter". The reason is perhaps because yours is the most significant signature on that document. You of all people should have been sensitive to the fact that Jonathan Pollard was sentenced unjustly. You of all people, should have pointed out that Pollard was tried and convicted for one crime and sentenced for another. You of all people, should have pointed out that Pollard relinquished his American right to a fair trial, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge but was sentenced for a crime much more severe than the one he was originally accused of.
You of all people should have adhered to your professed conviction about non-interference by politicians in judicial matters and you should have vigorously protested Secretary Weinberger's political intervention with the sentencing judge.
You state in your recent letter that you signed the "Shelby-Kerrey-Lieberman" letter because you did not want President Clinton "to be pressured by participants in the Middle East peace process to make a decision in the Pollard case that was not on the merits... (because) it should be decided on merits, not on political pressure."
Senator Lieberman, I respectfully suggest that you lived up to only one half of your professed conviction. You prevented Pollard's release on humanitarian grounds but you did nothing to help Pollard on the "merits" of the case.
I respectfully urge you to write an honorable "Lieberman letter" to President Clinton explaining how unjustly Pollard was sentenced, how disproportionate his punishment as compared to others who committed similar crimes and how "on the merits" Pollard should be released NOW.
Senator Lieberman, my request is very reasonable; even Secretary Weinberger, the man whose improper political intervention wrought Pollard the unjust sentence, stated some time ago that Pollard served enough time and should be released.
Senator, we Jews in America will be truly first-class citizens only when we have the courage to state openly and publicly that Jews will not accept a double standard of justice. When a Jew commits a crime, he should be punished, but not more severely than another American in similar circumstances.
As equal American citizens we must reject the "compliment" of anti-Semites that more is expected of us and therefore a more severe punishment is warranted.
Senator, you have a reputation that when your conscience speaks to you, you listen.
Senator, please listen to your conscience.
Member of Assembly
See Also: The Colman/Lieberman Correspondence