Mukasey: Commute Pollard's sentence to time served

Former US A-G sends letter to Obama, says agent didn't have motive to harm US; Pollard in poor health; not yet informed of PM's request.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN, JPOST.COM STAFF
December 22, 2010 18:22
2 minute read.
Jonathan Pollard

Jonathan Pollard 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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Former US attorney-general Michael Mukasey sent a letter to US President Barack Obama, released Wednesday, calling for Jonathan Pollard's sentence to be commuted to time served: "[Pollard] has not been alleged by anyone to have had any motive to harm the United States. In these circumstances, a life sentence can only be considered utterly disproportionate to the crime," the letter read.

"I had occasion myself to consider life sentences, and indeed to impose them. In more than 18 years on the bench, I imposed such sentences on four defendants," Mukasey said.

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Earlier on Wednesday Esther Pollard said, during an interview with Israel Radio, that Pollard has not yet been informed of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's decision to officially request that the US release the Israeli agent.

According to Pollard's wife, Jonathan is in very ill health and therefore could not call her so she could "give him the good news."

Esther Pollard said that Jonathan has been hospitalized in prison three times recently. She added that he had to cancel a visit by Jewish leaders on Tuesday because of his health.

"This good news can give him power to continue," said a tearful Esther Pollard.



Pollard's ex-wife Anne expressed optimism that Netanyahu's official request to Washington to release the Israeli agent will be successful. Her comments came in a Wednesday interview on Army Radio.

"Finally what we've waited for 25 years happened," Anne Pollard said.

She added that she always believed "the only way he'd be freed early was through political avenues."

"It's the first time in 25 years I'm completely optimistic Jonathan will be freed," said Anne Pollard.

Netanyahu will issue a public, formal and official call in upcoming days for US President Barack Obama to release the Israeli agent , the Prime Minister’s Office announced in a press release Tuesday.

Netanyahu will issue the call at the behest of Pollard, whose wife Esther delivered him a request from her husband at the Knesset on Monday.

“I intend to continue to act with determination to free Pollard, both because of the ethical obligation Israel has toward him and because Jonathan should have the right to live with his family and rehabilitate his health after so many years in jail,” Netanyahu said in the press release.

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