Alan Dershowitz Joins Call for Rubashkin Pardon

by Barney Breen-Portnoy – Algemeiner

During his remaining time in the White House, President Barack Obama should pardon an Iowa Jewish man currently serving a 27-year prison sentence for 86 counts of fraud, internationally renowned legal expert Alan Dershowitz told The Algemeiner on Monday.

Dershowitz called the lengthy jail term that was imposed on 57-year-old father-of-10 Sholom Rubashkin — former CEO of Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa, which went bankrupt in 2008 — “unfair.”

Dershowitz said he agreed with the sentiment expressed by Charles Renfrew and James Reynolds in the Wall Street Journal that federal prosecutors in the case —  which saw Rubashkin convicted in 2009 of illegally moving money that was supposed to be used as collateral for a loan — sought to “extract a pound of flesh, and then some — even at the cost of illegally overstepping their bounds and interfering in the bankrupt company’s sale.”

Renfrew, a US District Court judge in the Northern District of California from 1972-80 and a US deputy attorney general from 1980-81, and Reynolds, a US attorney for the Northern District of Iowa from 1976-82, wrote that had “justice truly been served, [Rubashkin] would have received less than four years [in prison].”

“Mr. Rubashkin has now served upwards of seven years of his sentence — more than twice as much as he would have served had his punishment fit his crime,” they claimed. “Every day that he spends in prison is a day that he should be spending as a free man, with his family.”

This, they argued, “is why we urge President Obama to pardon Mr. Rubashkin before he leaves office in January.” Furthermore, they said, “Congress should also take steps to rein in the serious problem of prosecutorial abuse, which has elicited bipartisan concern from many lawyers, legal scholars and federal judges.”

US presidents generally issue a slew of pardons at the end of their terms in office.

5 Comments

  • 1. have they filed? wrote:

    have Sholom Mordechai’s lawyers filed for clemency? Without that, all this discussion is a moot point.

  • 4. Lesson learned? wrote:

    The Rubashkins could have probably avoided much of their problems by not hiring illegal immigrants. But how many people would rather hire illegal immigrants and wotkers off the books. Lesson: hire Yidden, not illegals, and pay them well, not off the books.

    • 5. Milhouse wrote:

      Says someone who has never run a business.

      The Rubashkins never knowingly hired an illegal immigrant. Each of them had plausible-looking papers, and the law does not require an employer to investigate which papers are genuine and which are not. Of course they understood that among their workforce there must be many with false papers, just as there are in every such company, but that was not their problem. And of course as the children and grandchildren of illegal border-crossers we Lubavitchers ought to have every possible sympathy for illegal immigrants to the USA, and have no right to criticise them. How many eltere chassidim to this day have passports saying they were born in Poland, when they were really born in the USSR? Really every frum yid should have sympathy for them, because the barriers the USA puts up to immigration from Latin American are not much different from those Sedom put up 3750 years ago.

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