Speaker Sheldon Silver Appeals to Clinton, Again

December 21, 2000 - Justice4JP Release



December 13, 2000

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 Pollard. As you know, Mr. Pollard has just completed his fifteenth year in jail.

Last year, I traveled with my colleagues to visit Mr. Pollard in jail and to discuss his case. While I have previously made known to you my strong views in favor of commutation or clemency, I wish to bring to your attention additional information regarding Mr. Pollard's case.

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, fully supported by documentation, present a compelling and very disturbing picture of serious misconduct that went unchecked by Mr. Pollard's then-counsel.

Perhaps most troubling, after Mr. Pollard had been sentenced to life in prison, his previous attorney failed to file a Notice of Appeal. 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, 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. In light of the ineffective representation that allowed that misconduct to go unchecked, I believe that fundamental fairness warrants an immediate commutation of Mr. Pollard's sentence. Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to your reply.


Sheldon Silver