HUC's Rabbi Lawrence Kushner Appeals to Clinton
Justice4JP Release - December 25, 2000
HEBREW UNION COLLEGE
JEWISH INSTITUTE OF RELIGION
December 6, 2000
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington, DC 20500
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 I 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. I have read the papers. I enclose a copy for your review.
The papers, fully supported by documentation, present a compelling and very disturbing picture of serious 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 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. In light of the egregious government misconduct, coupled with ineffective representation that allowed that misconduct to go unchecked, I believe that fundamental fairness warrants an immediate commutation of Mr. Pollard's sentence.
Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion