By December 5 U.S. Govt Must Respond to Pollard Petition
The Jewish Week (NY) - November 3, 2000
The federal judge in Washington has ordered the US Government to reply by December 5 to a petition by convicted spy Jonathan Pollard for a new hearing. The directive by Norma Holloway Johnson, chief judge of the US District Court for the District of Columbia, is being seen as a positive step in Pollard's attempt to overturn his 1987 conviction for spying on the United States on behalf of Israel.
Pollard, who is serving a life sentence in a North Carolina federal prison, filed the petition claiming that his first attorney 15 years ago was incompetent and as a result he was deprived of his constitutional rights.
[It is significant that the US Government has been ordered to respond to Pollard's petition because] Such "prisoner petitions" are [usually] routinely dismissed without requiring the Government to respond.
NB: Bracketed additions above were added for clarity by J4JP.