NEW YORK (Jun. 22)
Jonathan Pollard was transferred this week from the maximum-security prison where he has spent the past six years, to a less-secure federal penitentiary in Butner, N.C.
Pollard, a former U.S. Navy analyst who pled guilty in 1986 to passing state secrets to Israel, had been serving his life sentence in Marion, Ill. The transfer, which took place Monday, had been rumored for months.
The Butner prison is “a considerably less guarded prison” than the facility in Marion, according to Pollard’s lawyer, Theodore Olson.
“It’s bound to be a nicer environment,” said Olson.
Pollard’s supporters, however, are anxious that the possible amelioration of his conditions not derail efforts to obtain his freedom, which is being sought by pressing President Clinton for clemency.
During his presidential campaign, Clinton promised to review Pollard’s case. There has so far been no indication that the Clinton Justice Department has begun the review.
Resolutions calling for a review of the sentence have recently been passed by the city councils of New York, Miami and Los Angeles.
A statement issued by Citizens for Justice for Jonathan Pollard, Canada, cautioned that “A move to another prison is not a victory! It is not a reason to relax concern for Mr. Pollard!”
“A prison is a prison,” Elaine Zeitz, Canadian spokeswoman for the Pollard case, explained. “He has already served much longer than anyone else convicted for similar circumstances in America. Do not be taken in by anyone who says this is a victory. Jonathan’s greatest fear now is that his supporters will become complacent.”