Washington — The U.S. Bureau of Prisons reverted to a 2015 release date in its listing for Jonathan Pollard from life.
The listing had appeared for several days as life on the bureau’s “find an inmate” search engine, but on Monday it returned to Nov. 21, 2015, when Pollard is first eligible for parole under sentencing guidelines in 1987. The former U.S. Navy analyst was sentenced to life for spying for Israel.
Ed Ross, a prisons bureau spokesman, told JTA that both decisions were “administrative” in the sense that Pollard’s status had not changed, but added that he did not know if either decision — to change the listing to life and back again — was in error.
Being eligible for parole does not mean Pollard will be released. His advocates say that parole is unlikely because the U.S. government continues to deny Pollard access to classified documents that could make his case.
Pollard’s wife, Esther, said she and her husband preferred the life listing because the 2015 date gave a false impression that mitigated against public pressure on President Obama to commute Pollard’s sentence.