'Keeping Pollard in jail is a miscarriage of justice’

Former White House lawyer writes letter to Obama, asking him to commute agent's sentence without further delay.

February 6, 2011 02:33
1 minute read.
Jonathan Pollard

Jonathan Pollard 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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US President Barack Obama would commit a “miscarriage of justice” if he decides against commuting the sentence of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard, said Bernard Nussbaum, former White House Counsel during President Bill Clinton’s term.

In a letter sent to Obama on Saturday, Nussbaum noted that he studied Pollard’s complete file “extensively,” and agreed with former US Attorney-General Philip Heymann – and a host of senior American officials – that Pollard must go free without further delay.

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“I write this letter to state that I fully share the view expressed by Professor Heymann – as well as the other distinguished former public officials who have written to you – that the time has come for Jonathan Pollard’s sentence to be commuted,” Nussbaum wrote.

“I will not repeat the cogent reasons set forth in Professor Heymann’s letter, except to say that I too believe that Jonathan Pollard has been appropriately punished for his conduct, and that a failure at this time to commute his sentence would not serve the course of justice; indeed, I respectfully believe, it would be a miscarriage of justice.”

Nussbaum opposed pardoning Pollard when he was White House Counsel from 1993 to 1994.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said last week that releasing Pollard was important, not only as a matter of justice, but also as proof of America’s continued strong friendship towards Israel.

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, who heads the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, wrote Obama on behalf of Pollard last week and circulated it to thousands of Christians across America.

In the letter, Eckstein called Pollard’s life sentence “severely unbalanced,” and cited his poor health in asking Obama to extend his “presidential mercy.”

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