Skip to comments.U.S. court rejects Israeli spy Pollard's appeal
Posted on 07/22/2005 10:13:22 AM PDT by E Rocc
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Jonathan Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst who pleaded guilty to spying for Israel, lost an appeal on Friday challenging his life sentence on the grounds that he had received ineffective legal advice.
A federal appeals court upheld the dismissal of the latest bid by the 50-year-old Pollard attacking the punishment handed down in 1987. He is serving the life sentence at a federal prison in North Carolina.
The three-judge panel ruled that Pollard's motion filed in 2000 was too late because he actually knew earlier the necessary facts that supported his claims of ineffective assistance of counsel.
Arrested in 1985 outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, Pollard was sentenced for selling tens of thousands of pages of classified information to Israel. His former wife, Anne, was sentenced to five years in prison for assisting him.
His case, which initially strained relations between the United States and Israel, has become a cause celebre for some Jewish groups in the United States and his supporters in Israel, who believe Pollard was giving Israel information that it should have been given by the United States.
Top Israeli government officials have unsuccessfully urged the United States to let him out of prison.
In a second issue, Pollard's lawyers sought access to classified documents in his sentencing file, including a declaration by then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, for the purpose of filing a clemency petition with President Bush.
The appeals court ruled the request must be dismissed because federal courts lack jurisdiction to review claims for access to documents for clemency petitions.
"As a practical matter, granting Pollard or his counsel access to these materials would almost surely open a floodgate of similar requests," Judge David Sentelle wrote in the 16-page opinion.
One of Pollard's New York-based attorneys, Eliot Lauer, expressed disappointment over the ruling.
"We are exploring all of our options and are hopeful that Jonathan Pollard will get justice in our court system and get his rightful day in court," he said.
Pollard admitted his guilt as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors in which they agreed not to ask for a life sentence. The judge sentenced Pollard to life in prison anyway.
Pollard's attorneys argued he received ineffective assistance of counsel from his lawyer who represented him when he pleaded guilty and was sentenced.
They said he failed to file a notice of appeal and failed to argue that the government had violated the terms of the plea agreement by in effect seeking life imprisonment by attacking Pollard's character and minimizing his cooperation.
The appeals court ruled the Pollard's motion was barred by the statute of limitations and said it should have been filed by April 24, 1997, to fit in the time limits under the law.
Let the games begin...
I am a Jew and a supporter of Israel. Nevertheless, I must say: break the law, pay the price.
G-d will determine whether or not Pollard did the moral thing or not when he is Judged, but the man admitted to comitting a very serious crime in the United States Criminal code. He can sit in prison until the US sees fit to let him out.
"We are....hopeful that Jonathan Pollard will get justice in our court system "
He didn't get the full measure of justice which was befitting of the crime he committed and was judged guilty of committing. If I were his lawyer, I'd leave well enough alone.......
"G-d will determine whether or not Pollard did the moral thing or not..."
You don't need to be God to figure this one out......
The last couple of Pollard threads have been quiet, only about 30 posts are so. Here's hoping things don't wild on this one.
Sure you do. Unless you're omniscient. In which case, I say "gimme gimme".
In my opinion, what he did was grossly immoral and reprehensible. But, maybe there's something I don't know, or some factor I don't see. G-d is omniscient and perfectly just, so his ruling is going to be correct. Mine is fallible. The laws of G-d are different than the laws of man. I am but a man, so all I can give is my opinion, not a conclusive decision.
The man was a spy and deserved severe punishment under the code of law. End of story.
"But, maybe there's something I don't know, or some factor I don't see"
Slippery slope, my friend. One could say the same thing in praise of the devil himself, which in the case of Pollard, probably is the most apt comparison.
There is no confusion. His acts were treasonous, and immoral. He should have been executed for them, but it wasn't my call.
I hardly think he can be compared to the devil. He was a traitor, and that was enough to condemn him and it is still enough to keep him in jail for the rest of his life and then some. Past that, it's G-d's province to judge him, not mine.