Rejected. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Sholom Rubashkin’s appeal on October 1, 2012.
Rubashkin will continue to serve a 27-year sentence for bank fraud.
Many have heard the details of his case: the raid of Agriprocessors, Rubashkin’s kosher meat processing plant, in 2008 by ICE officials; the arrests and re-arrests as he was declared ‘not guilty’ on charge after charge; and finally, the all-purpose charge of ‘fraud’ which somehow warranted a protracted stint in federal prison.
Is Rubashkin’s sentence just?
The courts have said yes, but not everyone agrees. To date, 51 members of Congress have asked Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate Rubashkin’s case. Numerous legal and federal officials and advocacy groups have made similar petitions. Justice Fellowship signed onto an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to review the case.
Is Rubaskin’s sentence fiscally responsible?
The average annual cost of housing a federal prisoner $25,251. If Rubashkin serves out his sentence, taxpayers will have spent $681,777 keep a non-violent offender away from the public and his family and his business. In addition, federal raids, arrests, and ultimate prosecution of Rubashkin have forced Agriprocessors to shut down, sounding the death knell for the economy of Postville, Iowa. Thousands of American factory workers were instantly jobless—business owners trickled out of town or faced financial hardship. Each Postville citizen took his part in the punishment of the “crime” of one.
This fantastic video explains the need for a reality check in our courts today—equity and transparency are foundational concepts that must not be neglected. If they are, overcriminalization and abuse of prosecutorial power will continue to threaten our freedoms.
Rubashkin is just one example. Will you be the next?