Departing Clinton Is Pressed On Clemency For Pollard
Eric Greenberg - The Jewish Week (NY) - December 15, 2000
Jonathan Pollard's new attorneys asked President Clinton this week to commute the convicted spy's sentence to the 15 years he has already served in federal prison. In effect, Tuesday's request by New York City attorneys Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman asks Clinton to grant Pollard executive clemency for giving classified information to Israel.
There has been increased activity of late on behalf of Pollard and others seeking executive clemency from Clinton as his presidency nears its January 20 finale. Traditionally, a president grants pardons and other executive relief at term's end. Pollard last requested executive clemency in 1996. [Justice4JP Note: As the President's controversial freeing of the FALN* terrorists last year clearly demonstrates, executive clemency can be granted at any time during a President's term. Jonathan Pollard has requested executive clemency from President Clinton, every year for the last 8 years. *See FALN Page. ]
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak broached the subject of clemency for Pollard with Clinton this week, according to administration officials. The New York Times reported Wednesday that Clinton maintained his official stance - that he would review the matter with other requests for clemency.
Pollard's attorneys, from the firm of Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle, told Clinton that they have been able to document "serious government misconduct" when he was given a life sentence by a federal judge in 1987.
"As a result of that misconduct, and as a result of his attorney's ineffectiveness, Mr. Pollard was sentenced to life in prison on the basis of false allegations, and under circumstances that violated his plea agreement," the letter said.
Some of their concerns involve last-minute classified memos written by former President Bush's then-Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. Ironically, Bush pardoned Weinberger, convicted of lying in the Iran-Contra scandal during the last week of his term.