NY Lawmakers Call on President to Release Pollard

Office of NY Assemblyman Dov Hikind

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, December 25, 2012



New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn), along with nearly 100 of their legislative colleagues representing areas throughout New York State and New York City, are imploring President Obama to pardon Jonathan Pollard. The push for clemency follows the release of a recently declassified 1987 CIA damage assessment, which reveals that Pollard never sought to disclose information on the United States but rather only on Israel's enemies.

In 1985, Pollard, a civilian American Naval intelligence analyst, was indicted on the single count of passing classified information to Israel, a U.S. ally, without intent to harm the U.S. Based on a 1983 Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. and Israel, Israel was legally entitled to this intelligence, which concerned Syrian, Iraqi, Libyan and Iranian nuclear, chemical and biological warfare capabilities being developed for use against Israel. Pollard never had a trial but received a life sentence with a recommendation that he never be paroled.

Pollard has served nearly three decades of his life sentence.

The legislators' letter to President Obama states in part:

"We are writing to urge you to use your Constitutional power to grant clemency to Jonathan Pollard and commute his sentence to one of time served...Mr. Pollard has repeatedly expressed remorse and has now served nearly three decades of his life sentence.

"Furthermore, the recently declassified 1987 CIA damage assessment reveals that Mr. Pollard never sought to disclose information on the United States but rather only on an ally's enemies. In addition, Mr. Pollard's sentence was based on the presumption that he violated his plea agreement by granting an unauthorized interview. We believe it improbable that an interview in prison could occur without the prior authorization or awareness of government officials.

"There is no question that Mr. Pollard broke the law. However, he is now in his 27th year in prison, most of these years in solitary confinement, which is far more than others who were found guilty of similar activity on behalf of countries that are not adversaries of the U.S. have served. We believe and hope you'll agree that the time that Mr. Pollard has served is more than sufficient from the standpoint of punishment and 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 that 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 G-d that our request is granted."

The legislators calling for Pollard's release are:


Eric Adams (D-Kings)
Ruben Diaz, Sr. (D-Bronx)
Adriano Espaillat (D-New York)
Michael Gianaris (D-Queens)
Kamp Hannon (D-Nassau)
Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D-Westchester)
Jeffrey D. Klein (D-Westchester)
Liz Krueger (D-New York)
Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Westchester)
Kevin Parker (D-Kings)
Bill Perkins (D-New York)
John L. Sampson (D-Kings)
Diane J. Savino (D-Kings)
Malcolm A. Smith (D-Queens)
Daniel Squadron (D-Kings)
Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Westchester)
David Storobin (R-Kings)

Assembly Members:

Peter J. Abbate, Jr (D-Kings)
Thomas J. Abinanti (D-Westchester)
Carmen E. Arroyo (D-Bronx)
Michael Benedetto (D-Bronx)
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)
Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx)
Herman D. Farrell, Jr. (D-New York)
Michael J. Fitzpatrick (R-Suffolk)
David F. Gantt (D-Monroe)
Deborah J. Glick (D-New York)
Phillip Goldfeder (D-Queens)
Richard Gottfried (D-New York)
Carl Heastie (D-Bronx)
Andrew D. Hevesi (D-Queens)
Dov Hikind (D-Kings)
Rhoda S. Jacobs (D-Kings)
Ellen Jaffee (D-Rockland)
Hakeem Jeffries (D-Kings)
George Latimer (D-Westchester
Charles Lavine (D-Nassau)
Vito Lopez (D-Brooklyn)
Alan Maisel (D-Kings)
Nicole Malliotakis (D-Richmond)
Shelley Mayer (D-Westchester)
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)
Felix Ortiz (D-Kings)
N. Nick Perry (D-Kings)
Samuel D. Roberts (D-Onondaga)
Annette 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)
Michael Simanowitz (D-Queens)
Aravella Simotas (D-Queens)
Eric Stevenson (D-Bronx)
Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (D-Suffolk)
Matthew J. Titone (R-Richmond)
Michele R. Titus (D-Queens)
Helen E. Weinstein (D-Kings)
Harvey Weisenberg (D-Nassau)
David I. Weprin (D-Queens)
Keith Wright (D-New York)

NYC Council Members:

Mathieu Eugene (D-Brooklyn)
Lewis Fidler (D-Brooklyn)
David Greenfield (D-Brooklyn)
Daniel Halloran (R-Queens)
Letitia James (D-Brooklyn)
Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn)
Michael C. Nelsen (D-Brroklyn)
Domenick Recchia Jr. (D-Brooklyn)

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