בג' שבט התשס"ה
New Legal Brief for Jonathan Pollard Filed
MEDIA RELEASE - September 14, 2004
NEW YORK. Jonathan Pollard's pro bono
attorneys, Eliot Lauer and Jacques
Semmelman of Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt
& Mosle LLP, 101 Park Avenue, New York,
NY 10178, have filed a brief on Mr.
Pollard's behalf in the United States
Court of Appeals for the District of
Columbia Circuit, in connection with the
appeal of their motion to vacate Mr.
Pollard's life sentence based upon
ineffective assistance of counsel, and
their motion to gain access to the classified
portions of Mr. Pollard's court docket.
Mr. Pollard is in his nineteenth year of a
sentence of life in prison for
delivering classified information to the
State of Israel. Mr. Pollard was
arrested November 21, 1985, and has been
incarcerated since. He pleaded guilty in
1986 to conspiracy to commit espionage. His
sentence was imposed March 4, 1987.
In 2000, Messrs. Lauer and Semmelman took
on Mr. Pollard's pro bono
representation and filed a Motion for
Resentencing in the United States District Court,
on the ground that Mr. Pollard's sentencing
counsel was ineffective, in
violation of Mr. Pollard's constitutional
right to effective assistance of counsel.
Mr. Pollard's sentencing attorney had
failed to perform even the most basic
tasks, such as objecting when the
Government breached its written plea
agreement not to ask for a life sentence,
and did not even file a one-page Notice of
Appeal from the life sentence, which would
have preserved the right to direct
appellate review of the sentence and the
Government misconduct that led to it.
The Government offered no response on the
merits to the Motion for
Resentencing, but successfully opposed the
Motion on the ground that the statute of
limitations had expired. Messrs. Lauer and
Semmelman asked the Court of Appeals
to grant discretionary appellate review of
the statute of limitations issue.
In addition, in 2000 Mr. Pollard's
attorneys had sought access to
approximately 40 pages of materials
submitted to the Court before sentencing. They
needed to see these materials in order to
be able to submit an effective
application for executive clemency with
full knowledge of their client's Court record.
The District Court denied access, finding
that Mr. Pollard's attorneys have no
"need-to-know" the contents of
their client's Court record. Counsel appealed
On June 7, 2004, the Court of Appeals
consolidated both issues for appeal and
effectively granted discretionary review of
the statute of limitations issue.
The brief filed September 14, 2004
addresses both issues: (1) whether the
Government is entitled to invoke the
statute of limitations as a bar to Mr.
Pollard's Motion for Resentencing, despite
evidence that the Government had lied in
writing about sentencing counsel's
performance, thereby misleading the Court
and misleading Mr. Pollard into not
bringing a claim for ineffective
assistance earlier, and (2) whether Mr.
Pollard's attorneys have a "need-to-know" the
contents of their client's Court record to
make an effective clemency
application, where the evidence shows that
Government personnel have repeatedly
accessed that very same Court record for
the purpose of opposing executive clemency.
Oral argument has been scheduled for
January 13, 2005 before a three-judge
panel of the United States Court of Appeals
at the United States Courthouse in
Washington, D.C. -30-