WASHINGTON (JTA) — Michael Mukasey, the most recent Republican U.S. attorney general, says Jonathan Pollard should be released.
Mukasey, President George W. Bush’s third and last attorney general, writes in a letter to President Obama that the convicted spy’s life sentence imposed in 1987 is "utterly disproportionate" to his crime because his espionage on Israel’s behalf was not motivated by a desire to harm the United States, The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.
There has been a flurry of activity in recent weeks on Pollard’s behalf: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he will formally ask Obama for the spy’s release, and a slate of Democratic Congress members have written to Obama asking for his release.
Pollard’s wife, Esther, says he is ill.
Mukasey in his letter references his career as a federal judge and notes that in 18 years on the bench, he imposed life sentences only four times.
According to the Post, the letter does not say whether Mukasey recommended clemency to Bush while he was in office.