President of UAHC Appeals to Clinton, Again

Union of American
Hebrew Congregations

Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, President

December 18, 2000
21 Kislev 5761

Mr. William Jefferson Clinton
President of the United States of America
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC

Dear Mr. President:

I am writing in connection with your ongoing review of the matter of Jonathan Jay Pollard. As you know, Mr. Pollard will soon complete his fifteenth year in jail.

While the Union of American Hebrew Congregations have previously made known to you our strong views in favor of commutation or clemency, I wish to bring to your attention additional information that I have just learned.

On September 20, 2000, new attorneys for Mr. Pollard filed a motion for resentencing in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The papers raise serious issues of government misconduct that went unchecked by Mr. Pollard's then-counsel. 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.

Perhaps most troubling, after Mr. Pollard had been sentenced to life in prison, his attorney failed to file a Notice of Appeal-a simple and straightforward task that any attorney would have routinely done. By that failure, Mr. Pollard's then-counsel deprived his client of direct appellate review of the sentence, and doomed Mr. Pollard to an unreviewed sentence of life in prison.

The papers that have now been filed by new counsel seek to have Mr. Pollard resentenced on the basis of a truthful record, untainted by government misconduct, and in a manner consistent with the government's commitments under the plea agreement. The papers seek a court hearing so that the truth can finally be uncovered.

I respectfully urge you to consider this recent court submission as part of your executive review. I believe that fundamental fairness warrants an immediate commutation of Mr. Pollard's sentence.


Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie
President UAHC

See Also:
  • Jewish Unity Page
  • Calls for Pollard's Release