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Jonathan Pollard: Out of Prison but Still Under Guard

Binyamin Rose

Freedom is a relative term. While Jonathan Pollard is grateful and appreciative that he can now recite Modeh Ani in the confines of a Manhattan studio apartment instead of behind bars in Butner, North Carolina, his road to rehabilitation remains strewn with legal barricades.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Following his release in the wee hours of Friday morning and a red-eye flight to New York, Pollard reported to the parole commission while his lawyers submitted briefs in US District Court in Manhattan, petitioning the court to overturn the most punitive conditions of his parole. Chief among them are the requirement to wear a GPS bracelet so probation officers can track his every movement, an “exclusionary zone” that limits his ability to travel far from his new home, and an “open door” policy that allows the government to inspect any computer or network he signs into — a condition that provides a strong disincentive for a company to hire him. Other than that, Pollard, 61, who has lived almost half of his life in prison, was able to celebrate his first normal Shabbos in 30 years with his wife,Esther, whom he married behind bars in 1993. “He’s in good spirits and of sound mind,” saysRabbiPesachLerner, his longstanding friend and advocate who visited Pollard frequently during his incarceration, and was among the first to greet him on Friday morning. “Healthwise, he needs a lot of medical attention, which we’re going to take one step at a time.” The length of time it will take for Pollard to regain his health and reacclimate himself to the world will, in large part, be contingent on whether his lawyers succeed in winning relief from the tough conditions imposed by the United States Parole Commission, to be implemented by the US Probation Department for the Southern District of New York.

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