ZOA Executive Directors
ZOA Regional Leaders
Friends of Israel Around the U.S.
Lori Lowenthal Marcus, President, Greater Philadelphia District, ZOA
Morton A. Klein, ZOA National President
Nearly twenty years ago, Jonathan Pollard was sentenced to life in prison for passing classified information to an American ally, Israel. Pollard is the only person in the history of the United States to receive a life sentence for that crime. The only one. A typical sentence for that offense is two to four years.
And that is not the only irregularity in Pollard’s case. Pollard was sentenced following a plea bargain in which he followed the rules outlined by the prosecutors, but which the prosecutors violated. He was condemned to live out his life in prison under circumstances that violated his plea agreement.
Yet a third way in which Pollard’s case is conspicuously anomalous: Pollard’s prosecutors engaged in serious misconduct. These constitutional violations severely prejudiced Mr. Pollard, and resulted in his life sentence, according to former United States District Court Judge George N. Leighton.
Finally, and of most immediate concern, Pollard’s attorneys, both of whom have TOP SECRET level security clearances, have been repeatedly denied access to the classified portions of his court docket. Without access to the docket, his lawyers are deprived of the ability to submit an effective clemency petition for Pollard.
Through these four significant, glaring aberrations, Jonathan Pollard has been abused by our American legal system.
In addition to these procedural and substantive violations, Pollard received grossly ineffective assistance from his sentencing counsel. For example, his lawyer failed to file a simple one-page Notice of Appeal from his life sentence. This is an important basis upon which Pollard’s current lawyers are seeking redress, for which there is a long history of legal precedents.
At the fulcrum of our system is the guarantee that all who engage in the legal process will be treated equitably and fairly. That guarantee, that contract of fair treatment, has been withheld from Jonathan Pollard for nearly twenty long years.
It is your obligation, as Americans, as people who demand a balanced, moral legal system, to seek justice for Jonathan Pollard.
Take a moment of your life to ask President Bush to reduce Jonathan Pollard’s sentence to time already served:
President George Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500
And then take one more minute of your life — just think of Jonathan’s last twenty years — and ask your U.S. Senators and Representatives to exert moral pressure on Attorney General John Ashcroft to extend to Pollard’s attorneys their right of access to their client’s court documents.