In a 2007 interview with Shalom TV, Vice President Joe Biden – then a U.S. Senator from Delaware – touched on the issue of clemency for Jonathan Pollard, who has been imprisoned since 1987 for spying for Israel. Commenting that he supported commutation of Pollard’s life sentence, as opposed to a pardon, Biden said, “There is a rationale behind the requests for Pollard’s release…but there’s not a rationale to say, ‘no, what happened did not happen, he should be pardoned.’”
That was then, this is now.
Recently, according to The New York Times, Biden chose a meeting with a group of rabbis in Boca Raton, Fla. to share his somewhat revised notions regarding Pollard, in light of Pollard’s failing health and the numerous requests for clemency that it has precipitated.
“President Obama was considering clemency, but I told him, ‘Over my dead body are we going to let him out before his time.’ If it were up to me, he would stay in jail for life,” said the veep.
Fortunately for Pollard, it’s not up to Biden. The convicted spy is up for mandatory parole in 2015.