Showing posts sorted by date for query Jonathan Pollard. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query Jonathan Pollard. Sort by relevance Show all posts

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.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Obama: Watch List '15

President Obama has granted so few pardons and commutations of sentence, we haven't much thought of anticipating individual pardons. But that doesn't mean the subject is not on the minds of others. And, with a recent round of commutations and the end of the term approaching, it is probably only a matter of time before the media engages in prognostication with reckless abandon. Interested readers may see our explanation of our own approach to this exercise here.

Watch List: Here are some individuals who have 1) expressed interest in clemency 2) been mentioned in media outlets as deserving clemency or 3) are being supported for clemency through assorted "campaigns":

Stephen Lee Arrington (cocaine trafficking) released
- ACORN (voter fraud)
- Weldon Angelos (marijuana)
- Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl(desertion)
- Jim Black (corruption) released
Barry Bonds (obstruction of justice) 
- Hillary Clinton (not charged)
- Randall "Duke" Cunningham (bribery, tax law violations) released
- Edwin Edwards (racketeering) released
- Jerry Eversole (lying to FBI)
- Bobby Ferguson (racketeering, extortion, bribery)
- Katie Hall (mail fraud) deceased
- Dan Hanks (quite the rap sheet!)
- Ron Isley (tax evasion) released
- William Jefferson (bribery, corruption)
- Jesse Jackson, Jr. (illegal use of campaign funds) released
- Sandi Jackson (plea)
- Jack Johnson (violation of Mann Act) deceased
- Marion Jones (steroids) released
- Kwame Kilpatrick - (racketeering, extortion and bribery)
- John Walker Lindh (terrorism)
- Bradley Manning (espionage)
Chris McNair (bribery) released
- Michael Milken (junk bond king)
- Leonard Peltier (double murder)
- O. Henry (embezzlement) deceased
- General David Petraeus (unauthorized sharing of classified information)
- Jonathan Pollard (spying)  
- Tony Rezko (corruption) a "spokesman" has said it will not happen
- George Ryan (corruption) released 
- Michael G. Santos (cocaine distribution) released
- Richard Scrushy (bribery) released
- Don Siegelman (trading favors for contributions)
- Wesley Snipes (income tax evasion) released
- Edward Snowden
- Martha Stewart (conspiracy) released
- Michael Vick (conspiracy to operate interstate dog fighting ring) released
- Mark E. Whitacre (wire fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering) released

- Chris Williams (drugs)
- Jeri Wright (money laundering)

See anyone missing? Let us know. Make your case! We might very well add them! Incidentally, we are not keeping score here. But, in the past, the following people appearing on our "Watch List" have received pardons or commutations: Ignacio Ramos, Jose CompeanCharlie Winters, John Forte, Lawrence Hutchins.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Obama to Pardon Sandi Jackson?

Michael Sneed of the Chicago Sun Times has this to offer:
The hottest rumor to come down the political pike: Speculation President Barack Obama may pardon former Ald. Sandi Jackson before he leaves office in January 2017.
So, just like that, another candidate for our patented Pardon Watch List !

Watch List: Here are some individuals who have 1) expressed interest in clemency 2) been mentioned in media outlets as deserving clemency or 3) are being supported for clemency through assorted "campaigns":

- Clarence Aaron (drug conviction)
Stephen Lee Arrington (cocaine trafficking)
- ACORN (voter fraud)
- Weldon Angelos (marijuana) 
- Jim Black (corruption) 
Barry Bonds (obstruction of justice) 
- Randall "Duke" Cunningham (bribery, tax law violations)
- Edwin Edwards (racketerring), released
- Katie Hall (mail fraud)
- Dan Hanks (quite the rap sheet!)
- Ron Isley (tax evasion)
- William Jefferson (bribery, corruption)
- Jesse Jackson, Jr. (plea)
- Sandi Jackson (plea)
- Jack Johnson (violation of Mann Act) not looking good
- Marion Jones (steroids) 
- John Walker Lindh (terrorism)
- Bradley Manning (espionage)
Chris McNair (bribery)
- Michael Milken (junk bond king)
- Serena Nunn (sentence commuted by Clinton)
- Leonard Peltier (double murder)
- O. Henry (embezzlement)  
- Jonathan Pollard (spying)  
- Tony Rezko (corruption) a "spokesman" has said it will not happen
- George Ryan (corruption), released 
- Michael G. Santos (cocaine distribution)   
- Richard Scrushy (bribery)
- Don Siegelman (trading favors for contributions)
- Wesley Snipes (income tax evasion)
- Edward Snowden
- Martha Stewart (conspiracy)
- Michael Vick (conspiracy to operate interstate dogfighting ring)
- Mark E. Whitacre (wire fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering)

- Chris Williams (drugs)

See anyone missing? Let us know. Make your case! We might very well add them! Incidentally, we are not keeping score here. But, in the past, the following people appearing on our "Watch List" have received pardons or commutations: Ignacio Ramos, Jose CompeanCharlie Winters, John Forte, Lawrence Hutchins.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Watch List: Jackson Jr. Sentenced, Pardon to Follow?

Jesse Jackson, Jr.
Jesse Jackson, Jr., who, along with his wife, pilfered more than a quarter of a million dollars of campaign donations has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison - with the possibility of a four month reduction.

As he got into a car to drive away from reporters, Jackson, who used checks and credit cards more than 3,000 times for "personal items (such as multiple flat screen televisions, sports club memberships, nightclubs and lounges, a gold-plated Rolex watch, fur capes and parkas), said:
"I still believe in forgiveness and redemption ... and I still believe in the resurrection." 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Watch List: Pollard, Pardon, Parole

This interesting piece notes Jonathan Pollard became eligible for parole ten years ago, but he has never applied for parole, even once! Read why here.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Obama to Pollard, "No."

The following passage is from Business Insider:
The argument is based on the position that [Jonathan Pollard] has already served 28 years for actions that benefited a key U.S. ally but did not harm the national security of the U.S. More than 200,000 people have signed an online petition for his release and top Israeli officials have indicated that they will ask Obama for his release. (In 2010 officials offered to extend the temporary moratorium on settlement construction in exchange for the Pollard's release.) But last week Obama told Israel's Channel 2 that he is not about to free Jonathan Pollard from prison because he “committed a very serious crime." 
See full story here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Obama: The Watch List

December is almost here. 1 out of every 2 pardons and commutations of sentence over the last 39 years has been granted in the month of December. Word is that only a small pile of clemency recommendations has escaped the ubiquitous "NO" stamp of the Office of the Pardon Attorney. Although it appears that NO ONE has much of a chance of benefiting from federal executive clemency, here is a list of individuals who have 1) expressed interest in clemency 2) been mentioned in media outlets as deserving clemency or 3) are being supported for clemency through assorted "campaigns":

- Clarence Aaron (drug conviction)
Stephen Lee Arrington (cocaine trafficking)
- ACORN (voter fraud)
- Weldon Angelos (marijuana) 
- Jim Black (corruption) 
Barry Bonds (obstruction of justice) 
- Randall "Duke" Cunningham (bribery, tax law violations)
- Edwin Edwards (racketerring) application rejected by Bush
- Katie Hall (mail fraud)
- Dan Hanks (quite the rap sheet!)
- Ron Isley (tax evasion)
- William Jefferson (bribery, corruption)
- Jesse Jackson, Jr. (under investigation)
- Jack Johnson (violation of Mann Act) not looking good
- Marion Jones (steroids) 
- John Walker Lindh (terrorism)
- Kenny Lumpkin (crack offense)
Chris McNair (bribery)
- Michael Milken (junk bond king)
- Serena Nunn (sentence commuted by Clinton)
- Leonard Peltier (double murder)
- O. Henry (embezzlement)  
- Jonathan Pollard (spying)  
- Tony Rezko (corruption) a "spokesman" has said it will not happen
- George Ryan (corruption)  
- Michael G. Santos (cocaine distribution)   
- Richard Scrushy (bribery)
- Don Siegelman (trading favors for contributions)
Wesley Snipes (income tax evasion)
- Martha Stewart (conspiracy)
- Michael Vick (conspiracy to operate interstate dogfighting ring)
- Mark E. Whitacre (wire fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering)

- Chris Williams (drugs)

See anyone missing? Let us know. Make your case! We might very well add them! Incidentally, we are not keeping score here. But, in the past, the following people appearing on our "Watch List" have received pardons or commutations: Ignacio Ramos, Jose CompeanCharlie Winters, John Forte, Lawrence Hutchins.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Watch List 2012: Some Modifications

Some modifications to our Pardon Watch List for 2012. We remove John Edwards and add Stephen Arrington. Please no betting. Here are some  individuals who have 1) expressed interest in clemency 2) been mentioned in media outlets as deserving clemency or 3) are being supported for clemency through assorted "campaigns":

- Clarence Aaron (drug conviction)
Stephen Lee Arrington (cocaine trafficking)
- ACORN (voter fraud)
- Weldon Angelos (marijuana) 
- Jim Black (corruption) 
Barry Bonds (obstruction of justice) 
- Randall "Duke" Cunningham (bribery, tax law violations)
- Edwin Edwards (racketerring) application rejected by Bush
- Katie Hall (mail fraud)
- Dan Hanks (quite the rap sheet!)
- Ron Isley (tax evasion)
- William Jefferson (bribery, corruption)
- Jesse Jackson, Jr. (plea)
- Jack Johnson (violation of Mann Act) not looking good
- Marion Jones (steroids) 
- John Walker Lindh (terrorism)
Chris McNair (bribery)
- Michael Milken (junk bond king)
- Serena Nunn (sentence commuted by Clinton)
- Leonard Peltier (double murder)
- O. Henry (embezzlement)  
- Jonathan Pollard (spying)  
- Tony Rezko (corruption) a "spokesman" has said it will not happen
- George Ryan (corruption)  
- Michael G. Santos (cocaine distribution)   
- Richard Scrushy (bribery)
- Don Siegelman (trading favors for contributions)
Wesley Snipes (income tax evasion)
- Martha Stewart (conspiracy)
- Michael Vick (conspiracy to operate interstate dogfighting ring)
- Mark E. Whitacre (wire fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering)

- Chris Williams (drugs)

See anyone missing? Let us know. Make your case! We might very well add them! Incidentally, we are not keeping score here. But, in the past, the following people appearing on our "Watch List" have received pardons or commutations: Ignacio Ramos, Jose CompeanCharlie Winters, John Forte, Lawrence Hutchins.

Watch List: "No" to Pollard Appeal

There may be 75,000 signatures on a petition, but ABC News reports President Obama "slam the door" on any appeal for a commutation of the life sentence given to "Israeli spy" Jonathan Pollard (see our Pardon Watch List here). Jay Carney said, "Our position has not changed, and will not change today. Mr Pollard was convicted of extremely serious crimes." The remarks came as Presidency Obama was about to meet with Israeli President Shimon Peres - who is said to be "under pressure" to reject the presidential medal of freedom if clemency is not offered to Pollard. Obama previously rejected a request from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to free Pollard. An Israeli petition urging Pollard's release is said to have 75,000 signatures. See story here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Pardon Watch List, 2012

OK, here is our first run of the Pardon Watch List for 2012. Please no betting. Here are some  individuals who have 1) expressed interest in clemency 2) been mentioned in media outlets as deserving clemency or 3) are being supported for clemency through assorted "campaigns":

- Clarence Aaron (drug conviction)
- ACORN (voter fraud)
- Weldon Angelos (marijuana) 
- Jim Black (corruption) 
Barry Bonds (obstruction of justice) 
- Randall "Duke" Cunningham (bribery, tax law violations)
- Edwin Edwards (racketerring) application rejected by Bush
- John Edwards (illegal use of campaign funds)
- Katie Hall (mail fraud)
- Dan Hanks (quite the rap sheet!)
- Ron Isley (tax evasion)
- William Jefferson (bribery, corruption)
- Jack Johnson (violation of Mann Act) not looking good
- Marion Jones (steroids) 
- John Walker Lindh (terrorism)
Chris McNair (bribery)
- Michael Milken (junk bond king)
- Leonard Peltier (double murder)

- O. Henry (embezzlement)  
- Jonathan Pollard (spying)  
- Tony Rezko (corruption) a "spokesman" has said it will not happen
- George Ryan (corruption)  
- Michael G. Santos (cocaine distribution)   
- Richard Scrushy (bribery)
- Don Siegelman (trading favors for contributions)
Wesley Snipes (income tax evasion)
- Martha Stewart (conspiracy)
- Michael Vick (conspiracy to operate interstate dogfighting ring)
- Mark E. Whitacre (wire fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering)

See anyone missing? Let us know. Make your case! We might very well add them! Incidentally, we are not keeping score here. But, in the past, the following people appearing on our "Watch List" have received pardons or commutations: Ignacio Ramos, Jose CompeanCharlie Winters, John Forte, Lawrence Hutchins.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Top Ten Clemency Stories of 2011

10. The West Memphis Three - The Three served almost 18 years before a plea deal allowed for their release. But, Governor Mike Beebe - one of the Nation's most steady dispensers of gubernatorial clemency - announced that he had no intention of granting a pardon. And he will only grant a pardon if there is "compelling evidence" that "someone else was responsible" for the murders the men were accused of.

9. 100,000 Application Backlog in Florida - The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, a group which aims to have the State's Board of Executive Clemency "simplify" (and speed up) the application process estimates a backlog of 100,000 applications!

8. December Clemency - A study published by the author of this blog, in White House Studies, shows that 1 of every 2 pardons and commutations of sentence granted over the last 39 years has been granted in a single month: December.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Gingrich "Biased Toward" Pardon

World of Judaica reports the following re an interview with Newt Gingrich:
Regarding the release of convicted Jewish spy Jonathan Pollard, Gingrich indicated that he is biased towards clemency, though he would have to examine the strong opposition to his release once President in order to make a decision.
See full story here.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pollard: Good Cop / Bad Deputy Routine

The New York Times reports that, in a recent meeting between Vice President Jospeph Biden and a group of rabbis in Florida, the topic of the Obama administration's failure to release Jonathan Pollard was brought up. Biden, who is on tour to convince Jewish voters that the president is really on their side, dove on the grenade as follows:
“President Obama was considering clemency, but I told him, 'Over my dead body are we going to let him out before his time. If it were up to me, he would stay in jail for life.”
It is also reported that Obama has yet to respond to formal requests from President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Others note that Biden's comments were a "flip-flop" from a 2007 video interview (seen here) "in which he expressed support for Pollard's release via commutation of his sentence." But, of course, this is the beauty that is Biden. He can (and does) say just about anything. But no one really pays much attention, much less seeks to hold him accountable. See story here and here and here and the Times article here.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Hill: Pollard, Pardon, Donations, Diplomacy

The Hill reports "Jewish supporters" of President Obama "are ramping up their lobbying campaign to release Jonathan Pollard." How? By claiming the move would "go a long way in easing tensions between the Jewish community and the White House." Pollard was given a life sentence for spying in 1987 and it has been continuously reported that "more than two dozen lawmakers and other policymakers" endorse a pardon.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) admirably asserts a pardon would bolster U.S. relations with Israel. But a "senior member" of Pollard's campaign for clemency says a pardon might have a more profound impact on Obama's campaign donations: "There are people who have withheld giving money ... who are holding back. It should be a no-brainer ... it will get [Obama] brownie points. The hope is that he’ll do it for justice.”

The Hill reports that there was "much speculation" in late 2007 and early 2008 that President George W. Bush would pardon Pollard "during his last days in office," but does not cite a single credible authority for such an expectation. See full story here.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Pollard on the Table, But Not Among Those Pardoned

It is reported that a "spokesman" for Benjamin Netanyahu claims the Israeli prime minister discussed a possible pardon for spy Jonathan Pollard during the recent meeting in Washington. A "formal request" was sent to the White House "a few months ago."

With some irony, President Obama granted eight pardons on Friday - something he very rarely ever does. But Pollard's name was not among the recipients. See story here.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Pardons: The Unimportant Topic that Makes / Breaks Candidates

We often receive e-mails and comments which essentially make the same point: Who cares about pardons? There are so many other important things about which to be concerned. Why should anyone bother so much about the circumstances of criminals? 

Presidential election campaigns must be very odd things for persons of this mindset to behold. Consider the last go-round, in 2008:

Hillary Clinton was asked about her husband's questionable pardons when it was observed that several recipients were making donations to her campaign. When she badgered Barack Obama about his relationship with Bill Ayers, in a Nationally televised debate, Obama bluntly reminded Mrs. Clinton that her husband pardoned several of Ayers' associates in the Weather Underground. Obama was asked whether or not he would consider a pardon for Tony Rezko. Rudolph Giuliani was asked if he would pardon Bernard Kerik. Vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was asked if she would pardon Senator Ted Stevens. Vice presidential candidate Joe Biden said he was not to keen on the idea of a pardon for Jonathan Pollard. Every Republican candidate was asked, during the debates, how they felt about a potential pardon for Scooter Libby. And every Democratic candidate had something to say about the eventual commutation of sentence he received from George W. Bush. Mitt Romney downright bragged about the fact that he never granted pardons. Mike Huckabee was roundly criticized for granting too many.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pollard to Obama

The Forward reports Israeli President Shimon Peres has personally handed President Obama a letter from Jonathan Pollard requesting federal executive clemency. The letter emphasizes "numerous calls by senior American officials" as well as a request by Prime Minister Netanyahu. It is also reported that the letter expresses "remorse" for spying, which led to a life sentence. Finally, the letter suggests clemency would perhaps have a political benefit as "a welcome gesture of friendship to the Israeli people, an act of solidarity with a staunch and long-time ally of the United States." See full story here.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Watch List: No Pardon for Pollard!

Now that Dan Quayle and Mike Huckabee have spoken, Frank Anderson, a 27-year CIA veteran, has a piece in the L.A. Times which argues Jonathan Jay Pollard should "never" be pardoned because his life sentence is "appropriate." Anderson says espionage "is a serious crime" that deserves "severe punishments" and "strong condemnation" because it is "always a betrayal of the spy's duty to his country and countrymen." As for the notion that Pollard was spying on behalf of an "ally" (Israel), Anderson writes:
The essential point is that any nation that steals American defense or intelligence secrets does serious damage to our nation. It might be our friend in many other important ways. In this, it is the enemy. Pollard's crime would not be less heinous had he committed it on behalf of Canada or Ireland. His betrayal would not be more serious had he acted for Russia or North Korea. The judge who sentenced Pollard did not choose the punishment because of the country Pollard spied for but because disclosure of the secrets Pollard peddled did such damage to our country.
Anderson also claims that Pollard "violated a plea agreement" that "might otherwise have led to a lesser sentence" when he "launched a media campaign." As a result, it was Pollard who "brought maximum punishment upon himself." In addition, Pollard has chosen not to apply for parole. See complete editorial here.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Huckabee on Pollard

It is reported (here) that former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is calling on President Obama to grant clemency to Jonathan Pollard. Pollard has now spent 26 years in federal prison for spying on behalf of Israel. Says Huckabee:
“Right now we don’t need anything that reflects that we are anything but an absolute ally of Israel. This [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.”
Without referencing any particular benchmark, Huckabee also says Pollard has served a disproportionately long sentence.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Watch List: Pollard, Again and Again

The Washington Post, New York Times and Wall Street Journal are all reporting on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's reading of a letter in Parliament, asking President Obama to pardon or commute the sentence of Jonathan Jay Pollard. Pollard is serving a life term for spying on behalf of Israel. Attempts to have him released have been ongoing (see previous coverage here). 39 members of Congress have expressed support for his release.

Netanyahu said Pollard - who was sentenced in 1987 but not officially recognized as a spy by Israel until the late 1990s - “has reportedly served longer in prison than any person convicted of similar crimes, and longer than the period requested by the prosecutors at the time of his plea bargain agreement.” In part, this has to be attributed to the fact that Pollard spent years attempting to land - by extraordinary means - a presidential pardon, as opposed to a mere commutation of sentence.

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