Friday, November 20, 2015

Jonathan Pollard Released After 30 Years !

The Los Angeles Times reports 61 year old Jonathan Pollard, long on our Pardon Watch List, has been paroled !

No other individual has been the focus of letters and phone calls of support for pardon to the Editor of this blog. The campaign for Pollard's release has been enduring and relentless, first calling for pardon, then commutation of sentence.

In November 2010, 39 members of Congress submitted a "Plea Of Clemency" to the White House on Pollard's behalf, asking for an immediate release. In February 2011, Arlen Specter, Chairman of hte Senate Intelligence Committee, wrote a letter to President Obama stating that Pollard should be pardoned and released. Specter was the second Chair of that Committee to publicly call for the release of Jonathan Pollard.

The Times reports:
Pollard’s release was not opposed by the Justice Department last summer, much to the disappointment of a bipartisan coalition of the country’s national security elite, who have long argued that he had severely damaged U.S. interests.
Pollard - as a Naval intelligence analyst - shared classified intelligence information amounting to "thousands" of documents "(sometimes rolling it out in grocery carts) including technical information about "U.S. information systems and satellites, photographs, maps and classified manuals." He claimed to have done so out of his love for our ally Israel.

At trial, prosecutors asked for a sentence of a substantial number of years, which was the result of a plea bargaining agreement but, ultimately, a recommendation that did not bind the trial judge. It was at that point that a "secret document" was submitted to the judge (and not Pollard's attorneys) by none other than Caspar Weinberger, the Secretary of Defense. Based on that document, the judge gave Pollard a life sentence.

Israel denied Pollard was a spy at first, but eventually began to lobby for his release, at one point, along with clemency for fugitive Marc Rich. See story here.

The AP reports, here, Pollard's parole conditions include the "requirement that he wear a GPS ankle bracelet and submit to inspections of his computer at his home or at his job,"

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