Congressman Pascrell Calls on Bush to Free Pollard

House of Representatives

June 8, 2001

Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

I am writing to respectfully urge you to give your strongest consideration to commutation of the sentence imposed upon Jonathan Pollard, who is completing his 16th year of a lifetime prison sentence. I believe compelling reasons exist that warrant Mr. Pollard's immediate release.

Mr. Pollard's sentence is grossly disproportionate to the sentences of others charged with similar crimes. He is the only person in the history of the United States given a life sentence for spying for an ally, and no other spy for a U.S. ally has served more than ten years. Agents who have spied on behalf of enemy nations have not received such a harsh sentence.

The circumstances surrounding Mr. Pollard's sentencing show that fundamental principles of fairness and due process were questionable. Jailing someone on the basis of secret evidence is wrong and simply unAmerican. Our system of justice should afford certain principles of fairness that may not have been adhered to in this case.

I have visited Mr. Pollard in the past and have read reports that he is in poor health. When I spoke to him last, he was remorseful about his deeds. He admits that what he did was wrong and that he should have been punished. I feel that an adequate punishment has already been served. Mr. Pollard has paid his debt to society, he is in poor health, and I request that you consider his immediate release.


Bill Pascrell, Jr.
Member of Congress

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