Notable Quotes in Support of Jonathan Pollard's Release
Justice4JPNews - Originally published January 30, 2011
DIRECTOR OF THE JEWISH AGENCY AND FORMER PRISONER OF ZION, NATAN SHARANSKY:
"The time has come to vigorously and loudly demand his freedom. Twenty-six years is more than enough." See Jewish Agency For Israel press release.
US FORMER VICE PRESIDENT DAN QUAYLE:
"[A] life sentence for the crime committed is very extreme...I join [many others] in urging a commutation of [Pollard's] sentence." See letter.
FORMER CIA DIRECTOR JAMES WOOLSEY:
"[It was clear] 5 years ago that the punishment quite clearly was excessive. It is time for [Jonathan Pollard] to be released...and there should not be any quid pro quo." See article and video.
FORMER WHITE HOUSE LEGAL COUNSEL BERNARD NUSSBAUM:
"I extensively reviewed the Pollard file... [T]he time has come for Jonathan Pollard's sentence to be commuted...[A] failure at this time to commute his sentence...would be a miscarriage of justice." See article and letter.
FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR & PRES. CANDIDATE MIKE HUCKABEE:
"He has served an extraordinary length of time... it would seem now to be a matter of goodwill and a good faith gesture...for the president to release him. [Freeing Pollard] would send the right message to the rest of the world that America is not pulling back on its friendship and relationship with Israel but it is accelerating it and making sure that we are taking every step possible to solidify those bonds." See article and videos by Arutz7 and JPost.
HEAD OF INTERNATIONAL FELLOWSHIP OF CHRISTIANS AND JEWS, RABBI YECHIEL ECKSTEIN:
"Mr. Pollard's punishment is severely unbalanced...and an excessive miscarriage of justice. Mr. Pollard is now in poor health... I beseech you now to commute Mr. Pollard's sentence to the 25 long years he has already served." See letter.
FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE GEORGE SCHULTZ:
"Jonathan Pollard has now paid a huge price for his espionage on behalf of Israel and should be released from prison." See PDF.
FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL MICHAEL MUKASEY:
"In more than 18 years on the bench, I imposed [life] sentences on four defendants. [Murderers and terrorists]. Pollard's offense does not nearly approach any of those....Pollard has suffered confinement well beyond the severity of what he did." See PDF.
FORMER U.S. SENATE SELECT INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN DENNIS DECONCINI:
I believe commuting his sentence to time served is the right and compassionate thing to do." See PDF.
"Pollard has been sufficiently punished, and it is unjust for him to serve any more time in prison." See PDF.
FORMER U.S. DEPUTY DEFENSE SECRETARY LAWRENCE KORB:
"[T]he severity of Pollard's sentence is a result of an almost visceral dislike of Israel and the special place it occupies in our foreign policy on the part of my boss at the time, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger." See PDF.
FORMER U.S. NAVY CRYPTOLOGIST AND DAMAGE ASSESSOR MAJOR DONALD LEVY:
"My recollection matches those of Senator Dennis DeConcini, Dr. Lawrence Korb and Mr. R. James Woolsey, all of whom have suggested Secretary of Defense Weinberger seriously inflated the assessment of the damage done by Pollard in his report to Judge Aubrey Eugene Robinson, who presided over Pollard's case." See PDF.
FORMER U.S SECRETARY OF DEFENSE CASPAR WEINBERGER:
"[T]he Pollard matter was comparatively minor. It was made far bigger than its actual importance." See article.
FORMER DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL PHILLIP HEYMANN:
"[H]is sentence was entirely out of line with others engaging in similar behavior and it was made less-than-legitimate by a treacherous recommendation of the then Secretary of Defense. There is no evidence that Pollard intended to harm the United States or help its enemies." See PDF.
PRESIDENT OBAMA'S MENTOR AND FRIEND: HARVARD LAW SCHOOL PROFESSOR CHARLES OGLETREE:
"I hope the president grants the wishes of many who have supported a pardon for Mr. Pollard." See article.
GARY BAUER, REPUBLICAN CONSERVATIVE LEADER:
"[I]t is patently clear that Mr. Pollard's sentence is severely disproportionate and (as several federal judges have noted) a gross miscarriage of justice... Commuting his sentence to time served would be a wholly appropriate exercise of your power of clemency -- as well as a matter of basic compassion and American justice." See PDF.
39 U.S. CONGRESSMEN:
[T]here has been a great disparity from the standpoint of justice between the amount of time Mr. Pollard has served and the time that has been served - or not served at all - by many others who were found guilty of similar activity on behalf of nations adversarial to us, unlike Israel... [The more than] twenty-five years that Mr. Pollard has served stands as a sufficient time from the standpoint of either punishment or deterrence. See PDF.
OVER 500 RELIGIOUS AND COMMUNAL LEADERS:
"[I]t is patently clear that Pollard's sentence was and remains terribly disproportionate and constitutes a gross miscarriage of justice."
"After more than two and a half decades in prison, Mr. Pollard's health is declining. He has repeatedly expressed remorse for his actions, and by all accounts has served as a model inmate. .. Commuting his sentence to time served would be a wholly appropriate exercise of your power of clemency - as well as a matter of basic fairness and American justice." See letter.
DENNIS ROSS, SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT BARAK OBAMA:
"I was in favor of Pollard's release, believing that he had received a harsher sentence than others who had committed comparable crimes. I preferred not tying his release to any agreement, but if that was what we were going to do, then I favored saving it for permanent status." See book excerpt.
APPELLATE COURT JUSTICE STEPHEN WILLIAMS:
The life sentence meted out to Pollard as a result of a breached plea agreement represents "a fundamental miscarriage of justice." See item.
RUDOLPH GIULIANI, FORMER MAYOR OF NY, AND FORMER WHITE HOUSE OFFICIAL:
"...I have seen the documents -- his sentence is way beyond the sentence served by other people that have been convicted of the same offense." See article.
SENATOR CHARLES SCHUMER:
"[T]he lifetime sentence imposed on Mr. Pollard is unduly severe and inconsistent with the sentences awarded to other Americans convicted of similar offenses. Indeed, Mr. Pollard's sentence is harsher than the sentences meted out to individuals convicted of spying for enemy countries and is the harshest sentence in United States history for the crime of spying for an allied country." See text of letter.
BENJAMIN L. HOOKS, FORMER NAACP EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR:
"I have rarely encountered a case in which government arbitrariness was so clear cut and inexcusable. One can argue that Mr. Pollard has been denied due process, given the fact that he was sentenced to life imprisonment without a trial by his peers. Indeed, a comparison of sentences given to individuals convicted of similar crimes demonstrates that Mr. Pollard was singled out for punishment in excess of what others have received, including individuals convicted of aiding our nation's enemies. See letter.
GEORGE N. LEIGHTON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE:
"[T]he evidence shows that the government engaged in serious misconduct that went unchecked by an ineffective defense counsel and ... these constitutional violations severely prejudiced Mr. Pollard, and resulted in his sentence of life in prison." See item.
CONRESSMAN ANTHONY WEINER:
"After reviewing the facts of the case and receiving multiple classified briefings on this matter, I believe that [Jonathan Pollard] has served a sentence that far exceeds the appropriate term for the crimes he has committed. Mr. President, the time has come to free Jonathan Pollard." See letter.
CONGRESSMEN BARNEY FRANK, BILL PASCRELL JR. ED TOWNS, AND ANTHONY WEINER:
"[T]he appeal for clemency is based on the vast disparity between Mr. Pollard's sentence and the sentences given to many others who have been convicted of similar activities, even with countries that unlike Israel are or have been adversaries of the United States.
"We also note the positive impact that a grant of clemency would have in Israel, as a strong indication of the goodwill of our nation towards Israel and the Israeli people. This would be particularly helpful at a time when the Israeli nation faces difficult decisions in its long-standing effort to secure peace with its neighbors." See letter.
RABBI CAPERS FUNNYE JR. (Relative of President Obama):
"I write to add my voice to the many voices that have appealed to you for clemency by commuting Jonathan Pollard's sentence to time served." See letter.
THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT:
[Noting] that Mr. Weinberger stated... it was time that Mr. Pollard should be released; aware that Christian and Jewish organizations throughout the world have pleaded for the harsh sentence of life imprisonment to be commuted and that Judge Steve Williams wrote, in a dissenting opinion to an appellate court finding, that 'the government's conduct in this case resulted in a 'complete miscarriage of justice',
- Urges the US Administration to commute Pollard's sentence to one of time served and to release him immediately;
- Calls on EPC to intercede with the US government with this end in view
See Resolution [Item J - B3-1251/93].
ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU:
"At the time of his arrest, Jonathan Pollard was acting as an agent of the Israeli government. Both Mr. Pollard and the Government of Israel have repeatedly expressed remorse for these actions..."
"Jonathan Pollard has reportedly served longer in prison than any person convicted of similar crimes...and his health has deteriorated considerably.
"[T]he United States is a country based on fairness, justice and mercy. For all these reasons, I respectfully ask that you favorably consider this request for clemency for Jonathan Pollard." See text.
NOAM SHALIT, FATHER OF ABDUCTED SOLDIER GILAD SHALIT
Equating Pollard with Israelis abducted by terrorists, Shalit said, "[The] time has come to free Pollard. We want all the prisoners, missing in action to return home." See article.
19 FORMER SOVIET PRISONERS OF ZION
"We appeal to you on behalf of a Prisoner of Zion who has been imprisoned in your country for 26 years - Jonathan Pollard...Your silence worries us [Mr. President]. We, former Prisoners of Zion in Soviet Russia, know the danger of silence. We know the terrible suffering that comes with each passing day in prison. Therefore, we appeal to you with a heartfelt cry - end this Jewish prisoner's prolonged and terrible ordeal!" See letter and article.
SENATOR ARLEN SPECTER
"Based on my experience as District Attorney of Philadelphia, Chairman of The Senate Judiciary Committee, Chairman of The Senate Intelligence Committee and my studies of incarceration, I believe Jonathan Pollard has served more than long enough...[S]pying is not an uncommon practice even between allies and friendly nations...Considering all the factors, in my judgment Jonathan Pollard should not have a life sentence..." See letter.
LEE HAMILTON, PRESIDENT'S FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE AND HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISER; FORMER CONGRESSMAN:
"I do believe that [Jonathan Pollard] has served a disproportionately severe sentence and that he should be promptly released...Commuting his sentence is a matter of basic compassion and justice." See letter.
RABBI MORDECHAI ELIYAHU zt"l, FORMER CHIEF RABBI OF ISRAEL AND RISHON LETZION:
"Not only is the case of Jonathan Pollard the mitzvah of Pidyan Shvuyim [the redemption of a captive], it is the highest form of the mitzvah; it is a case of Pidyan Shvuyim for one who was 'mosser nefesh le'man Am Yisrael'(one who sacrificed himself for Am Yisrael). Jonathan Pollard not only risked his life for Israel, he has endured  years of affliction and mistreatment in American prisons for the sake of Am Yisrael..."[I]t is a compulsory Torah command for all of the nation of Israel, both in the land of Israel and in the Diaspora, to utilize every way to influence those who have the power to release him from prison and set him free." See letter.
DR. HENRY KISSINGER, FORMER US SECRETARY OF STATE AND NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR, NOBEL PEACE PRIZE WINNER:
"[H]aving talked with George Shultz and read the statements of former CIA Director Woolsey, former Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman DeConcini, former Defense Secretary Weinberger, former Attorney General Mukasey and others whose judgments and first-hand knowledge I respect, I find their unanimous support for clemency compelling... I believe justice would be served by commuting the remainder of Pollard's sentence of life imprisonment." See letter.
SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN, ARIZONA STATE SENATOR, AND FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:
"I support the release of Jonathan Pollard." See article.
REVEREND PAT ROBERTSON, FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN OF THE CHRISTIAN BROADCASTING NETWORK AND WORLD RENOWN HOST OF THE 700 CLUB:
"Over the years I have joined hundreds of religious and political leaders, from both parties, seeking the release of Jonathan Pollard... I respectfully urge your administration to do the compassionate thing and commute the sentence of Jonathan Pollard to the time he has already served." See letter.
CONGRESSMAN MICHAEL GRIMM, SITTING REP FOR STATEN ISLAND (R) AND FORMER FBI AGENT:
"I am working with many others in Washington to do everything we can to see that justice is done. Justice in this case would be to have Jonathan Pollard released from prison." See video statement and article.
100 NEW YORK STATE LEGISLATORS:
"We write to urge you to use your constitutional power to extend clemency to Jonathan Pollard, thereby releasing him from prison after the time he has already served... We believe that there has been a great disparity from the standpoint of justice between the amount of time Mr. Pollard has served and the time that has been served --- or not served at all --- by many others who were found guilty of similar activity on behalf of nations that, like Israel, are not adversarial to us. It is indisputable in our view that the nearly twenty-six years that Mr. Pollard has served stands as a sufficient time from the standpoint of either punishment or deterrence." See letter.
SENATOR ALAN SIMPSON, FORMER WYOMING SENATOR AND CURRENT CO-CHAIR OF PRESIDENT'S ECONOMIC COMMISSION:
"I join many other distinguished Americans to request that you exercise your power of clemency and commute Jonathan Pollard's prison sentence to time served...
[I]t is patently clear that Mr. Pollard's sentence is severely disproportionate and (as several federal judges have noted) a gross miscarriage of justice...After more than two decades in the harshest prison conditions, Mr. Pollard's health is declining. He has repeatedly expressed remorse for his actions, and by all accounts has been a model prisoner...Commuting his sentence to time served would be a wholly appropriate exercise of your power of clemency - as well as a matter of basic compassion and American justice." See letter.
- Links to recent letters calling for Jonathan Pollard's Release: Justice4JPnews
- Former CIA director R. James Woolsey pushes for Pollard release: The Jerusalem Post
- Obama's Rabbi Cousin Asks President To Release Pollard: Justice4JP News
- Video (2 min): Should Jonathan Pollard be released?
- Video (4 min): Jonathan Pollard - Enough is enough!
- Congressman who 'saved Pollard' pleads with Obama: The Jerusalem Post