NEWS FROM ASSEMBLYMAN DOV HIKIND
March 29, 2011
For Immediate Release
Contact: Allison Witty
HIKIND & SILVER APPEAL TO PRESIDENT OBAMA TO PARDON JONATHAN POLLARD:
MORE THAN 100 NEW YORK STATE LEGISLATORS LEND THEIR NAME TO THE CAUSE
Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn), in conjunction with New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and 100 of their legislative colleagues representing areas throughout New York State, have affixed their signatures to a letter sent to President Obama beseeching him for a pardon for Jonathan Pollard.
Pollard was a civilian American Naval intelligence analyst who discovered that information vital to Israel's security was being deliberately withheld by the United States in the mid-1980's. Based on a 1983 Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries, Israel was legally entitled to have this intelligence which concerned Syrian, Iraqi, Libyan and Iranian nuclear, chemical, and biological warfare capabilities being developed for use against Israel.
Pollard is now serving the 26th year of a life sentence imposed for spying for Israel. When his efforts to end the United States' covert policy toward Israel proved unsuccessful, Pollard began to give information to Israel directly. In 1985, his actions were discovered by the United States government. He was indicted on only one count of passing classified information to an ally, without intent to harm the United States. Pollard never had a trial. He received a life sentence and a recommendation that he never be paroled.
The legislators' letter to President Obama states in part,
"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. Mr. Pollard committed serious crimes and he has expressed remorse. Such an exercise of the clemency power would not in any way imply doubt about his guilt, nor cast any aspersions on the process by which he was convicted. . . .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."
After a personal visit with Pollard at the Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, North Carolina in 2007, Hikind reflected, "I can attest to the fact that Jonathan is remorseful for his actions. He acknowledges he broke the law. All he is asking for is proportionality, and today, we asked President Obama to give him that much. I hope and pray to God that our request is granted."
Joining Assemblyman Hikind in the call for Pollard's release are:
Senators Eric Adams (D-Kings); Ruben Diaz, Sr. (D-Bronx); Adriano Espaillat (D-Bronx); Michael N. Gianaris (D-Queens); Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D-Bronx); Shirley Huntley (D-Queens); Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx); Liz Krueger (D-New York); Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Westchester); Kevin Parker (D-Kings); Bill Perkins (D-New York); John Sampson (D-Kings); Diane J. Savino (D-Kings); Daniel Squadron (D-Kings); Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Westchester); Assemblymembers Peter J. Abbate, Jr (D-Kings); Carmen E. Arroyo (D-Bronx); Jeffrion L. Aubry (D-Queens); Michael Benedetto (D-Bronx); Jonathan L. Bing (D-New York); Ed Braunstein (D-Queens); James F. Brennan (D-Kings); Harry Bronson (D-Monroe); Alec Brook-Krasny (D-Kings); Kevin A. Cahill (D-Dutchess); Nancy Calhoun (D-Orange); Karim Camara (D-Kings); Ronald Canestrari (D-Albany); Nelson Castro (D-Bronx); Barbara M. Clark (D-Queens); William Colton (D-Kings); Vivian E. Cook (D-Queens); Marcus A. Crespo (D-Bronx); Michael J. Cusick (D-Richmond); Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Kings); Michael DenDekker (D-Queens); RoAnn M. Destito (D-Oneida); Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx); Herman D. Farrell, Jr. (D-New York); Michael J. Fitzpatrick (R-Suffolk); Christopher Friend (R-Chemung); David F. Gantt (D-Monroe); Vanessa L. Gibson (D-Bronx); Deborah J. Glick (D-New York); Andrew Goodell (R-Chautauqua); Carl E. Heastie (D-Bronx); Andrew D. Hevesi (D-Queens); Dov Hikind (D-Kings); Earlene Hooper (D-Nassau); Sam Hoyt (D-Erie); Rhoda S. Jacobs (D-Kings); Ellen Jaffee (D-Rockland); Hakeem Jeffries (D-Kings); Micah Z. Kellner (D-New York); Rory Lancman (D-Queens); George Latimer (D-Westchester; Charles Lavine (D-Nassau); Joseph R. Lentol (D-Kings); Guillermo Linares (D-New York); Vito J. Lopez (D-Kings); Daniel P. Losquadro (D-Suffolk); Donna Lupardo (D-Broome); Alan Maisel (D-Kings); Nicole Malliotakis (R-Kings); Nettie Mayersohn (D-Queens); John J. McEneny (D-Albany); Tom McKevitt (R-Nassau); Grace Meng (D-Queens); Donald Miller (R-Onondaga); Joel M. Miller (R-Dutchess); Michael Miller (D-Queens); Joan L. Millman (D-Kings); Marcus Molinaro (R-Columbia); Joseph D. Morelle (D-Monroe); Francisco Moya (D-Queens); Felix W. Ortiz (D-Kings); Crystal D Peoples-Stokes (D-Erie); N. Nick Perry (D-Kings); Audrey I. Pheffer (D-Queens); J. Gary Pretlow (D-Westchester); Edward Re (R-Nassau); José Rivera (D-Bronx); Naomi Rivera (D-Bronx); Peter M. Rivera (D-Bronx); Sam Roberts (D-Onondaga; Annette M. Robinson (D-Kings); Robert Rodriguez (D-New York); Linda Rosenthal (D-New York); Addie J. Russell (D-Jefferson); Joseph Saladino (R-Nassau); William Scarborough (D-Queens); Michelle Schimel (D-Nassau); Sheldon Silver (D-New York; Aravella Simotas (D-Queens); Mike Spano (R-Westchester); Eric Stevenson (D-Bronx); Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (D-Suffolk); Matthew J. Titone (D-Richmond); Michele R. Titus (D-Queens); Darryl Towns (D-Kings); Helen E. Weinstein (D-Kings); Harvey Weisenberg (D-Nassau); David I. Weprin (D-Queens); Keith L. Wright (D-New York)
Director of Communications
Assemblyman Dov Hikind