Grass-roots bid for Pollard pardon launches

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A campaign has been launched in the U.S. imploring a pardon for convicted spy Jonathan Pollard.

The national grass-roots effort urges President Bush to commute Pollard’s life sentence. The former U.S. Navy analyst was sentenced in 1987 to life in prison for spying for Israel.

Rabbi Pesach Lerner, one of the driving forces behind Freepollardnow.com, said in a news release that Pollard, 54, repeatedly has expressed his remorse publicly and in private in letters to many U.S. presidents and others.

He said Pollard’s health has deteriorated significantly in prison.

“There are individuals across the United States who have expressed interest in helping Jonathan Pollard,” said Lerner, the executive vice president of the National Council of Young Israel. “This grass-roots campaign gives people the opportunity to participate in a respectful and coordinated effort intended to help enable Jonathan Pollard to go home to Israel to his family.” — jta