After meeting with Jonathan Pollard at a North Carolina prison, Assemblyman Dov Hikind says the former Navy analyst convicted of spying for Israel 22 years ago is contrite about his crimes and still hopeful that he’ll be freed.
“One of the things he said was that he has never asked for a pardon because he knew what he did was wrong,” said Hikind. “He is asking for a commutation of his [life] sentence.”
Pollard has, on at least one occasion, tried to justify his crimes, but he has often said he was wrong to break the law. Hikind, who has been advocating for Pollard’s release for years, had never before met him. Joining him were Rabbi Pesach Lerner of National Council of Young Israel and another Orthodox leader, Joseph Geliebter.
“We spent two and a half hours there talking about strategy for getting him out,” said Hikind, who said the visit was monitored by an intelligence officer. Hikind said Pollard, now 51, suffers from diabetes and blood pressure problems that have caused swelling in his legs.
Noting his belief that Republican Rudy Giuliani would favor Pollard’s release, Hikind said he was working to convince Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton to take a similar position.