Thursday, January 27, 2011

Former Deputy Attorney General Philip B. Heymann to Obama: Release Pollard

The pile of letters on the president's desk gets higher and higher:
25 January 2011

The Honorable Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington DC 20500-0001

Dear Mr. President:

Having reviewed the Pollard file at length as Deputy Attorney General in 1993-1994, I enthusiastically join the many distinguished others who are now urging you to commute the sentence of Jonathan Pollard. Like Jim Woolsey and Dennis DeConcini, I know the record thoroughly and fully share their conclusions. Like Secretary of State George Shultz, I particularly admire the precise statement of the issues by former Attorney General Mukasey.

Pollard’s conviction was justified but his sentence was entirely out-of-line with others engaging in similar behavior and it was made less-than-legitimate by a treacherous recommendation of the then Secretary of Defense. There is no evidence that Pollard intended to harm the United States or help its enemies. Having already served a severe sentence; Pollard is now supported by political and religious leaders across the political spectrum in seeking a commutation. I join them with deep conviction as to the justice of their shared cause.

Philip B. Heymann
This letter is particularly interesting in that it calls Caspar Weinberger's recommendation to incarcerate Pollard for life as "treacherous".

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