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Alan Dershowitz

 
ALAN DERSHOWITZ: SPY JONATHON POLLARD MUST BE FREED

by Alan Dershowitz, posted August 18, 2011

[This first appeared in Newsmax]

There are several reasons why justice demands that Jonathan Pollard — given a life sentence for spying on the United States for Israel — be commuted to time served and that he be immediately released.

The first is a legal and constitutional argument. Pollard, an NIS intel analyst convicted in 1987, waived his right to trial by jury in exchange for a promise by the government that it would not seek life imprisonment. The government broke that promise.
It submitted a perjured affidavit by then Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger demanding life imprisonment and overstating the damage that Pollard had caused. This was a direct breach of the plea bargain.

Unfortunately Pollard's appeal was argued to a panel that included two Jewish judges, at least one of whom aspired to the Supreme Court. The two of them wrote a scandalously inept opinion affirming the sentence, while the third, non-Jewish, judge declared it to be a gross violation of due process and basic fairness. The non-Jewish judge, who had no fear of being accused of dual loyalty, was correct. The two Jewish judges were dead wrong.

I know of no other case in American jurisprudence in which a plea bargain has been so blatantly violated and the violation approved by an appellate court. The legal remedy is enforce the plea bargain as written and impose the sentence that the government promised it would seek.If Pollard had served that sentence, he would be free by now. Even if the law did not require Pollard's immediate release, principles of fairness and equal justice surely would.

The typical sentence imposed on an American who spies for an ally of the United States is in single digits. Such sentences have been imposed on Americans who spies for Egypt and other countries that are American allies. 

There is no reason in justice or fairness for Pollard to have received the double digit sentence for spying for Israel.

The prosecutor in this case tried to justify this sentencing disparity by arguing that since so many Americans support Israel, the need for deterrence is greater. This is an unacceptable double standard.

 

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.


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