A new video posted to YouTube gathers the calls by top U.S. officials to free Jonathan Pollard, who was convicted on a single count of passing classified information to an ally more than 26 years ago and is serving a life sentence for the crime, which usually carries a maximum prison term of two to four years.
Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, and former CIA director James Woolsey are just a few of several top U.S. officials who have called to free Pollard.
A group of eighteen prominent former United States senators recently wrote to President Barack Obama and asked that he free Pollard.
“We do not condone espionage, nor do we underestimate the gravity of Pollard’s crime,” the senators wrote. “But it 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,” continued the senators. “He has repeatedly expressed remorse for his actions as has the State of Israel, and by all accounts has served as 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.”
New York Democrat Congressmen, Rep. Eliot Engel, said during his visit to Israel this week that the U.S. government was not completely honest with Pollard before he was sentenced in 1987 to life in jail.
The Congressman, who has visited Pollard twice in prison, said, “Enough is enough,” he said. “It is ridiculous [that] it has been going on this long. He should be released as soon as possible – immediately."