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Jubilation Throughout Jewish Community After Sholom Rubashkin Is Freed

23 December, 2017, 01:57 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Defense attorney Montgomery Brown right and defendant Sholom Rubashkin talk during the trial of Sholom Rubashkin on state child labor charges on Friday

The commutation came after Mr. Rubashkin, the former manager of Agriprocessors, which was once the country's largest kosher meat-processing company, spent more than eight years in prison.

Trump commuted the sentence for Sholom Rubashkin, 57, after being encouraged to do so by bipartisan leaders across the political spectrum, according to a White House news release.

"Mr. Rubashkin is a devoted husband and father, a deeply religious man who simply doesn't deserve a sentence of this length, or anything remotely close to it", they wrote in a letter that urged Trump to use his "executive clemency power to commute the patently unjust and draconian 27-year sentence imposed upon Sholom Rubashkina first time, non-violent offender and father of 10, including an acutely autistic child". The commutation isn't a presidential pardon and doesn't overturn his conviction.

President Donald Trump speaks to the media during a Cabinet meeting at the White House December 20, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Aron Schimmel, the Chabad emissary in Postville, says the Iowa town's Jewish community shrunk significantly after the Rubashkin scandal. Immigration charges against Rubashkin, 57, were dropped during his trial after prosecutors made a decision to pursue a fraud case against him instead.

Billionaire Hershey Friedman of Montreal purchased the meatpacking plant in 2009 and rebranded it as Agri Star Meat and Poultry. Rubashkin had been imprisoned at the Federal Correctional Institution, Otisville, about 130 km northwest of New York City.

While there may be concern about leniency being granted in a case where a company profited from the labor of illegal immigrants, Trump found an unlikely ally in Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz.

Trump also pointed to bipartisan expressions of support for review of the case from over 100 former high-ranking U.S. Justice Department officials, prosecutors, judges and legal scholars. "It's sad when politics interferes with the justice system".

Previous year in The Wall Street Journal, a former deputy attorney general, Charles Renfrew, and a former US attorney from Iowa, James Reynolds, wrote that Rubushkin's entire prosecution was a miscarriage of justice.

The role of Linda R. Reade, chief judge for the U.S. Court for Northern Iowa captured national attention, both for the stiff sentence and his involvement with the original ICE raid.

Teig also told the Associated Press that the White House's decision "makes no sense", given Trump's vows to crack down on illegal immigration.

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