Trump Commutes Sentence of Kosher Meat Tycoon Rubashkin

Ceria Alfonso
Diciembre 21, 2017

President Donald Trump commuted the sentence of a man eight years into a 27-year term for bank fraud, the White House said Wednesday afternoon.

Prior to his sentence, Rubashkin and his father ran the Agriprocessors plant, a kosher meat-packing plant and slaughterhouse that faced "serious allegations of mistreatment of animals and employees at the plant", as reported by The Forward.

Rubashkin has served more than eight years in prison.

He was arrested in October 2008, five months after the Department of Justice and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers raided his Iowa plant and arrested almost 400 illegal immigrants.

The statement described the commutation as an "an action encouraged by bipartisan leaders from across the political spectrum, from Nancy Pelosi to Orrin Hatch", referring to the Democratic leader in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Republican senator from Utah, respectively.

Trump's commutation is not a pardon, meaning that Rubashkin's conviction is not vacated, and he still must make restitution payments and submit to post-release supervision.

Mr Trump has used his pardon power just once, sparing former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio the prospect of serving jail time by wiping away a federal conviction over illegal immigration patrols that focused on Latinos. Furthermore more than 30 present members of congress have composed letters communicating endorsement for review of Mr. Rubashkin's case.

Teig said that every court that looked at Rubashkin's sentence had concluded it was fair, and suggested that former Justice Department officials and lawmakers who supported leniency were unaware of the facts of the case.

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Rubashkin's attorney Guy Cook praised the decision, saying his client "has finally received justice".

Alan M. Dershowitz, an emeritus law professor at Harvard and a noted author, said he had been working on the case for about five years and had personally asked Trump to consider commutation.

Rubashkin's attorneys a year ago accused prosecutors of improperly interfering with the sale of Agriprocessors and depressing its sale price by millions.

More than 100 United States attorneys general, judges, and other judicial professionals signed a letter to Trump in February, pleading for clemency on Rubashkin's behalf.

The Coalition for Jewish Values, a rabbinic public policy organization in the USA, said they too welcomed the news.

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One of them, Agudath Israel of America, said in a statement to the Jewish publication, the Yeshiva World: Through today's action, President Trump has shown that he too understood that something went terribly wrong in the prosecution and sentencing of Sholom Rubashkin - and, further, that he would not allow this blot on our criminal justice system to stand uncorrected.

Prosecutors denied the claims and Reade, in her ruling, said prosecutors didn't "conceal any information that materially affected the outcome" of the sentencing or any other misleading testimony.

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