Attorneys request Pollard clemency

Attorneys for Jonathan Pollard have filed a new petition for clemency with President Barack Obama.

The petition asks Obama to commute Pollard’s life sentence to his time served, which is 25 years. It does not ask for a pardon. Pollard was a civilian U.S. Navy analyst who was convicted of spying for Israel.

The request came as four Congress members — Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) and Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) — prepared to send a letter that has been circulating in Congress to Obama seeking clemency for Pollard.

The letter does not question Pollard’s guilt or sentencing, but says that “there has been a great disparity from the standpoint of justice between the amount of time Mr. Pollard has served and the time that has been served — or not served at all — by many others who were found guilty of similar activity on behalf of nations adversarial to us, unlike Israel.”

Reports last month, citing unnamed sources, suggested that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might offer to extend the West Bank construction freeze in exchange for Pollard’s release. — jta