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Des Moines, IA - Dozens Of Well Known Names In Legal World Throw Their Support Behind Rubashkin Petition

Published on: May 12, 2016 10:25 AM
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FILE - Sholom Rubashkin, left, talks with Defense Attorney F. Montgomery Brown during a break at the Black Hawk County Courthouse on May, 10, 2010, in Waterloo, Iowa. (RICK TIBBOTT / Courier Staff Photographer)FILE - Sholom Rubashkin, left, talks with Defense Attorney F. Montgomery Brown during a break at the Black Hawk County Courthouse on May, 10, 2010, in Waterloo, Iowa. (RICK TIBBOTT / Courier Staff Photographer)

Des Moines, IA - Over 100 prominent individuals have signed on a letter accusing prosecutors of misconduct in the Rubashkin trial and calling on U.S. Attorney Kevin Techau to correct the “miscarriage of justice” that occurred during the Rubashkin proceedings.

According to reports in the Des Moines Register, the letter was signed by many heavyweights including former Department of Justice officials, FBI officials, federal judges, state attorneys general and law professors.

Among those who signed on the four page later dated April 19th are former attorneys general John Ashcroft, Ramsey Clark, Edwin Meese and Michael Mukasey, former acting attorney general Stuart Gerson, former FBI directors Louis Freeh and William Sessions, former senator Joe Lieberman, former Massachusetts governor and assistant attorney general William Weld, former New York City mayor and prosecutor Rudy Giuliani and former solicitor general Kenneth Starr who led ethics investigations into former president Bill Clinton.

The letter came just weeks after Rubashkin’s defense team presented new evidence accusing prosecutors of improperly interfering with the sale of the Postville, Iowa Agriprocessors plant, depressing the price by millions, a factor that ultimately led to the lengthy 27 year prison sentence imposed, as previously reported on VIN News (http://goo.gl/04I9vV).

While the letter may be heavy on support from notable figures, previous attempts to use big names to sway the U.S. Attorney’s office to reconsider Rubashkin’s sentence have failed.  A 2012 attempt to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal in the case signed by more than 80 former federal judges failed.

“There’s nothing to be lost by trying but it hasn’t worked so far,” said Professor Laurie Levenson of Loyola Law School, a former federal prosecutor who was well acquainted with the Rubashkin case.  “Unless they come up with new facts. That’s really the important thing. Not that you have big names, but that you have facts and law on your side.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Young declined to discuss the claims outside of the filing.  Prosecutors have until May 20th to respond to the allegations of wrongdoings by Rubashkin’s legal team who say that had federal prosecutors not been involved in the sale of the business, it would have fetched a significantly higher price which would have resulted in Rubashkin receiving an approximately three year sentence. 

Rubashkin, a first time offender and a 51 father of 10, has already served almost seven years in prison of what is essentially a life sentence.

A separate letter written on April 8th by former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa James Reynolds slammed prosecutors for their attempts to exclude any members of the Rubashkin family from purchasing the business.

“Had this kind of unfair, underhanded and unnecessary misconduct occurred during my tenure, you can be absolutely certain that the perpetrators would have faced consequences, the very least of which would have been the loss of their job,” wrote Reynolds.

Professor Jeffrey Bellin of William and Mary Law School expressed doubt that the letter would produce the desired results.

“No matter how well known the signatories, I don’t think a letter directed to the United States attorney will by itself change any minds,” said Bellin.  “The federal prosecutors handling the case likely understand the applicable law and the factual allegations as well as anyone.”


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Read Comments (35)  —  Post Yours »

1

 May 12, 2016 at 10:42 AM Itchakadoozie3 Says:

And yet none of those names mean a thing until the Ribono Shel Olam puts into the head of the judge to pardon him. Keep davening and doing our hishtadlus chevra!

2

 May 12, 2016 at 10:47 AM Normal Says:

Seven years seems plenty for this small white collar crime.

3

 May 12, 2016 at 10:55 AM BuckyinWisconsin Says:

May he be freed soon. I am constantly reading about those who embezzled and committed crimes much much more serious and received much much lighter sentences. I do think that R. Rubashkin received very very bad defense advice in trying to fight this charge, and not taking a plea bargain. His attitude came off as arrogant and without remorse. Courts HATE that attitude and will punish you accordingly. If he has said "I am guilty, I am sorry, I won't do it again" he would have gotten a very light sentence of maybe three to 5 years. Our federal court system does not lose cases when going to trial, they have an overwhelming success rate, due to their power and ability to throw an unlimited amount or resources at the case. And I have no doubt that the Feds manipulated this case, in order to get the highest rate of conviction. That is what they do. And it may have been completely legal to do so. G-d forbid any person is caught in the maw of the federal prosecution services, but if you are, throw yourself on the mercy of the court, humbly "admit" your guilt, and try and get the lightest plea bargain you can. That is your only chance .

4

 May 12, 2016 at 10:57 AM Anonymous Says:

I really hope that this man who has unfortunately suffered so much should finally go free

5

 May 12, 2016 at 11:15 AM villyamsburger Says:

I hope the petition is not written with as many spelling and grammar mistakes as this article.

Hope he gets released already.

6

 May 12, 2016 at 11:18 AM Yossi Says:

we don't know what the outcome will be but one thing is for sure..TEFILAH for Rubashkin will help get him released. We should all be Mispalel for him as well for other prisoners and give Tzedukeh and every women should have him in mind when lighting shabos lecht .

7

 May 12, 2016 at 11:28 AM Secular Says:

In the words of Reverrend Al,

It's not a miscarriage of justice, it's an abortion of justice.

8

 May 12, 2016 at 11:29 AM Anonymous Says:

Mishiga country. we have become a country of incarceration. We simply can't afford to house all these inmates. Time to rethink how we punish non violent inmates who are not a threat to society.

9

 May 12, 2016 at 11:34 AM Maven Says:

Lets hope and pray that he and all other of our brothers will be released quickly.
For anyone who still believes that antisemitism played no role is plain Meshuga.

10

 May 12, 2016 at 11:54 AM HeshyEmes Says:

The only play if this fails, is to get a commutation of this ridiculous sentence by outgoing Obama (fat chance!), or from the next president.

11

 May 12, 2016 at 12:16 PM bennyt Says:

Reply to #8  
Anonymous Says:

Mishiga country. we have become a country of incarceration. We simply can't afford to house all these inmates. Time to rethink how we punish non violent inmates who are not a threat to society.

And O'bummer is busy pardoning and releasing all of those poor prisoners who've been incarcerated for non-violent drug offenses claiming that society should give them a second chance. He doesn't realize that some of the people who bought the drugs from these pushers either became addicted and committed violent crimes in order to get money to support their addiction or they died from overdoses. Rubashkin's alleged crime was financial in nature with no harm to any individuals and was also trumped up by federal investigators and whose trial was presided over by a biased judge who should have recused herself. 27 years for a first time offender is more than a miscarriage of justice; it's a total lack of justice!

12

 May 12, 2016 at 01:37 PM CommonSense Says:

Reply to #9  
Maven Says:

Lets hope and pray that he and all other of our brothers will be released quickly.
For anyone who still believes that antisemitism played no role is plain Meshuga.

No I don't believe this is anti-Semitism.
If you would read magazines like the New Yorker you would see that stories like this that make your blood boil occur across demographics.
Our judicial system is cruel and will be judged so by future generations.
Much like we judge the cruelties of past regimes.

It just goes to show that somehow when it's part of the system...and "rule of law" we tolerate evil.

13

 May 12, 2016 at 02:09 PM bewhiskered Says:

Reply to #3  
BuckyinWisconsin Says:

May he be freed soon. I am constantly reading about those who embezzled and committed crimes much much more serious and received much much lighter sentences. I do think that R. Rubashkin received very very bad defense advice in trying to fight this charge, and not taking a plea bargain. His attitude came off as arrogant and without remorse. Courts HATE that attitude and will punish you accordingly. If he has said "I am guilty, I am sorry, I won't do it again" he would have gotten a very light sentence of maybe three to 5 years. Our federal court system does not lose cases when going to trial, they have an overwhelming success rate, due to their power and ability to throw an unlimited amount or resources at the case. And I have no doubt that the Feds manipulated this case, in order to get the highest rate of conviction. That is what they do. And it may have been completely legal to do so. G-d forbid any person is caught in the maw of the federal prosecution services, but if you are, throw yourself on the mercy of the court, humbly "admit" your guilt, and try and get the lightest plea bargain you can. That is your only chance .

"And I have no doubt that the Feds manipulated this case, in order to get the highest rate of conviction."

Tell me Counselor, could you share your 'inside' information on how the Feds manipulated the case? I'm certain that many readers here would be fascinated knowing that.

14

 May 12, 2016 at 02:11 PM bewhiskered Says:

Reply to #9  
Maven Says:

Lets hope and pray that he and all other of our brothers will be released quickly.
For anyone who still believes that antisemitism played no role is plain Meshuga.

"For anyone who still believes that antisemitism played no role is plain Meshuga."

And, the 86 counts of financial fraud, including bank fraud, mail and wire fraud and money laundering are nothing but a figment of the imagination- right?

15

 May 12, 2016 at 01:28 PM PMOinFL Says:

Reply to #3  
BuckyinWisconsin Says:

May he be freed soon. I am constantly reading about those who embezzled and committed crimes much much more serious and received much much lighter sentences. I do think that R. Rubashkin received very very bad defense advice in trying to fight this charge, and not taking a plea bargain. His attitude came off as arrogant and without remorse. Courts HATE that attitude and will punish you accordingly. If he has said "I am guilty, I am sorry, I won't do it again" he would have gotten a very light sentence of maybe three to 5 years. Our federal court system does not lose cases when going to trial, they have an overwhelming success rate, due to their power and ability to throw an unlimited amount or resources at the case. And I have no doubt that the Feds manipulated this case, in order to get the highest rate of conviction. That is what they do. And it may have been completely legal to do so. G-d forbid any person is caught in the maw of the federal prosecution services, but if you are, throw yourself on the mercy of the court, humbly "admit" your guilt, and try and get the lightest plea bargain you can. That is your only chance .

Like it or not, Rubashkin and his team WERE arrogant and without remorse. He committed fraud. He should have owned up to what he really did do and take the plea deal that was offered to him. Instead, his team tried to "spin" it to make him more sympathetic. Rubashkin deserved to go to prison, but not for this long. However, in the end he has only himself to blame for not being truthful from the start and owning up to what he did.

How many times does H" have to show us in this world that covering up 1 wrong with 100 more wrongs will never go our way? Whether it is financial fraud, abuse, theft, violence... you reap what you sow.

At the same time, I feel terrible for Rubashkin and his entire family... none of them deserved any of this. I can understand why Rubashkin maybe panicked and lied as a survival instinct. But that is why we bring in lawyers and advisors to make sure we don't do those things and act rationally.... his team failed him terribly.

16

 May 12, 2016 at 02:28 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
bewhiskered Says:

"For anyone who still believes that antisemitism played no role is plain Meshuga."

And, the 86 counts of financial fraud, including bank fraud, mail and wire fraud and money laundering are nothing but a figment of the imagination- right?

The short answer to your question is yes its kind of a figment of the imagination.

Prosecutors are very good at twisting and pilling up various official accusations that very loosely fit the crime. Jurors on the other hand are not too knowledgable to know whether each count of fraud really fits the crime. So they just look at the whole story and if it sounds rotten throw the books at the guy for every count. We have an overzelous prosecution system. Prosecuters will do anything to get a conviction especially if its a high profile one like Silver or Rubashkin. As long as it advances their career they have no problem wiping the floors with people.

I do agree with commentor 12 its not as much anti semtism as it is just being a victim of overzealous prosecutors.

17

 May 12, 2016 at 02:31 PM blank space Says:

a total miscarriage of justice: the US is putting NY politicians in jail for much less time, NY is putting rapists and murderers in jail for less time, yet what did Rubaskin do that was so terrible that he gets 27 years????

18

 May 12, 2016 at 02:36 PM RocklandRes Says:

Reply to #14  
bewhiskered Says:

"For anyone who still believes that antisemitism played no role is plain Meshuga."

And, the 86 counts of financial fraud, including bank fraud, mail and wire fraud and money laundering are nothing but a figment of the imagination- right?

Laws are for Goys - not the chosen ones.

19

 May 12, 2016 at 03:26 PM bewhiskered Says:

Reply to #18  
RocklandRes Says:

Laws are for Goys - not the chosen ones.

"Laws are for Goys - not the chosen ones."

Yes, some mental deficient here had to write that- no surprise. It's quite amazing how utterly ridiculous some individuals of the עם נבון וחכם can be. Apparently, you've never heard of דינא דמלכותא דינא, have you?

20

 May 12, 2016 at 04:03 PM Chachom Says:

Reply to #14  
bewhiskered Says:

"For anyone who still believes that antisemitism played no role is plain Meshuga."

And, the 86 counts of financial fraud, including bank fraud, mail and wire fraud and money laundering are nothing but a figment of the imagination- right?

"86 counts of financial fraud,"

Yes, that is PRECISELY The issue with our court system , when they want to throw the book at you. They will account each and every time/crime as another separate crime /offense and come to whatever total morons like you fall for! Although in essence it was really one crime he committed.

Does he deserve time?
YES.

Does he deserve to be put away for life?
NO!

This is the only democracy in the world that treats white-collar crime with such severe viciousness.

21

 May 12, 2016 at 04:03 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Itchakadoozie3 Says:

And yet none of those names mean a thing until the Ribono Shel Olam puts into the head of the judge to pardon him. Keep davening and doing our hishtadlus chevra!

You're right! We must always remember it's all up to Hashem!

22

 May 12, 2016 at 05:28 PM CommonSense Says:

Reply to #9  
Maven Says:

Lets hope and pray that he and all other of our brothers will be released quickly.
For anyone who still believes that antisemitism played no role is plain Meshuga.

No I don't believe this is anti-Semitism.
If you would read magazines like the New Yorker you would see that stories like this that make your blood boil occur across demographics.
Our judicial system is cruel and will be judged so by future generations.
Much like we judge the cruelties of past regimes.

It just goes to show that somehow when it's part of the system...and "rule of law" we tolerate evil.

23

 May 12, 2016 at 06:27 PM Chachom Says:

Reply to #19  
bewhiskered Says:

"Laws are for Goys - not the chosen ones."

Yes, some mental deficient here had to write that- no surprise. It's quite amazing how utterly ridiculous some individuals of the עם נבון וחכם can be. Apparently, you've never heard of דינא דמלכותא דינא, have you?

Hmm seems like you never heard of 'sarcasm!

24

 May 12, 2016 at 06:27 PM CommonSense Says:

Reply to #9  
Maven Says:

Lets hope and pray that he and all other of our brothers will be released quickly.
For anyone who still believes that antisemitism played no role is plain Meshuga.

No I don't believe this is anti-Semitism.
If you would read magazines like the New Yorker you would see that stories like this that make your blood boil occur across demographics.
Our judicial system is cruel and will be judged so by future generations.
Much like we judge the cruelties of past regimes.

It just goes to show that somehow when it's part of the system...and "rule of law" we tolerate evil.

25

 May 12, 2016 at 06:30 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #19  
bewhiskered Says:

"Laws are for Goys - not the chosen ones."

Yes, some mental deficient here had to write that- no surprise. It's quite amazing how utterly ridiculous some individuals of the עם נבון וחכם can be. Apparently, you've never heard of דינא דמלכותא דינא, have you?

You're mistaken assumption, which was supported by your bias was that this was written by a Yid.

It clearly wasn't, as proven by the use of the word "Goys". Real "Yids" do not use the word "Goys". והמבין יבין.

26

 May 12, 2016 at 08:14 PM Chaim Says:

The judge is this case was a blatant אנתסמת. America גנב.

27

 May 12, 2016 at 08:15 PM Marksw Says:

A good start whould be if someone can
Petition the White House on the Issue,
(If it gets decent Votes its getting the Attention to the current Administration )
Someone with the clear facts of the case should create this,
Heres the link
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/

28

 May 12, 2016 at 09:44 PM Esther Says:

Reply to #14  
bewhiskered Says:

"For anyone who still believes that antisemitism played no role is plain Meshuga."

And, the 86 counts of financial fraud, including bank fraud, mail and wire fraud and money laundering are nothing but a figment of the imagination- right?

We all know what you'd be saying if Rubashkin were black.

29

 May 13, 2016 at 07:50 AM bewhiskered Says:

Reply to #20  
Chachom Says:

"86 counts of financial fraud,"

Yes, that is PRECISELY The issue with our court system , when they want to throw the book at you. They will account each and every time/crime as another separate crime /offense and come to whatever total morons like you fall for! Although in essence it was really one crime he committed.

Does he deserve time?
YES.

Does he deserve to be put away for life?
NO!

This is the only democracy in the world that treats white-collar crime with such severe viciousness.

"They will account each and every time/crime as another separate crime /offense and come to whatever total morons like you fall for! Although in essence it was really one crime he committed."

The name calling is really impressive. But then, you're working only on emotions without anything substantive as usual, aren't you? One crime, Counselor? Can you please tell us how you know that without the emotional BS? The truth is, you know minus the square root of elephant defecation about the law, and are all too unafraid of showing your ignorance of it publicly.

If you run afoul of the law to the extent that Rubashkin did, you put yourself into the hands of the criminal system. Whether his sentence is 'fair' or not, Rubashkin did this to himself, regardless of the nonsense you spout.

30

 May 13, 2016 at 11:54 AM bewhiskered Says:

Reply to #28  
Esther Says:

We all know what you'd be saying if Rubashkin were black.

"We all know what you'd be saying if Rubashkin were black."

Esther, you can be such a silly goose. Go sit with the rest of those reprobates who are deluded into thinking that Rubashkin never did anything wrong.

31

 May 13, 2016 at 02:00 PM Anonymous Says:

I'm praying he stays in jail for a long time and I'm also praying the phone calls I receive during dinner with my honest family cease asking for money for him. Let his wife sell her fine jewelry purchased with illegal money. I pray for the women who were raped by his managers and he did nothing.

32

 May 13, 2016 at 02:02 PM Anonymous Says:

He should have shown some remorse. Big ego

33

 May 14, 2016 at 10:25 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Itchakadoozie3 Says:

And yet none of those names mean a thing until the Ribono Shel Olam puts into the head of the judge to pardon him. Keep davening and doing our hishtadlus chevra!

1. "the judge" can't pardon him.

2. So you don't believe that the RSO put him in jail in the first place?

3. I have no reason to daven or "do my hishtadlus" for a clearly guilty felon just because he has a beard. There are many, many more deserving people for me to daven for rather than this cheat, liar and thief.

34

 May 15, 2016 at 06:32 PM JoeField1 Says:

Reply to #29  
bewhiskered Says:

"They will account each and every time/crime as another separate crime /offense and come to whatever total morons like you fall for! Although in essence it was really one crime he committed."

The name calling is really impressive. But then, you're working only on emotions without anything substantive as usual, aren't you? One crime, Counselor? Can you please tell us how you know that without the emotional BS? The truth is, you know minus the square root of elephant defecation about the law, and are all too unafraid of showing your ignorance of it publicly.

If you run afoul of the law to the extent that Rubashkin did, you put yourself into the hands of the criminal system. Whether his sentence is 'fair' or not, Rubashkin did this to himself, regardless of the nonsense you spout.

Before, I take issue with your view let me assure you that by any measure, I am not a Rubashkin supporter. Nevertheless, let me take stab to explain and decipher # 20 comment “They will account each and every time/crime as another separate crime /offense and come to whatever total morons like you fall for! Although in essence it was really one crime he committed."
Rubashkin was charged with a separate count each and every fake invoice he submitted to the bank for the last 5 years before the company went bust. Regardless if he paid back that precis invoice or not.
The issue herein has two prongs, 1. How many counts Rubashkin was charged with, if I am not mistaken it was a total of 83. Some advocates who try to change the system (not this particular case but overall) argue that in a case like this each and every invoice should not be a new charge. It should be regarded as one continuous crime. 2. The 2nd prong in the sentencing guidelines is the amount that was defrauded. After Enron, Congress put in law new sentencing guidelines, which is based at the end of the case what the amount of money was not paid back.

35

 May 15, 2016 at 06:36 PM JoeField1 Says:

Reply to #29  
bewhiskered Says:

"They will account each and every time/crime as another separate crime /offense and come to whatever total morons like you fall for! Although in essence it was really one crime he committed."

The name calling is really impressive. But then, you're working only on emotions without anything substantive as usual, aren't you? One crime, Counselor? Can you please tell us how you know that without the emotional BS? The truth is, you know minus the square root of elephant defecation about the law, and are all too unafraid of showing your ignorance of it publicly.

If you run afoul of the law to the extent that Rubashkin did, you put yourself into the hands of the criminal system. Whether his sentence is 'fair' or not, Rubashkin did this to himself, regardless of the nonsense you spout.

Continue

Here is the issue Rubashkin legal team are arguing that because the Feds demanded that the new owners of Agriprocessors should not have any Rubashkin family ownership. That demand deflated the value in the final sale. Anytime you eliminate a buyer the final value will be less based on the supply and demand law of economics.

As I said before I actually followed this case, in my view his legal team should have implored Rubashkin to plead guilty and take the deal they offered, 10 years and he would have been out by now. Why he decided to fight it and defy the heavy odds he had to overcome, we would never know.

I want to see the horrific Federal Justice System changed by all means, but not just for Rubashkin, that what irks me, that VIN readers do not care if it is not some hamish yid.

36

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