The Unjust American System

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The Unjust American System

Yehudit Mehrnia, World News Editor

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This Chanukah, just like every Chanukah, we experienced a miracle. Except this Chanukah, the Jews experienced a miracle that brought them together from all four corners of the earth in celebration. This miracle included the release of a man who was unfairly sentenced to a disproportionate and unjustly punitive prison term of 27 years.

America is known for one of the best legal systems in the world. But it’s not the best when a loving husband and father is unfairly convicted to such an extreme prison sentence. Sholom Rubashkin, the CEO of Agriprocessors, the largest Kosher meat producer in the United States, got his multi million dollar company completely shut down as a result of bank fraud.

Pictured: Shalom Rubashkin (left)

  Shocking evidence of prosecutorial misconduct which led to Rubashkin’s 27 year sentence for financial fraud, was documented in files by his attorneys in March. A letter was sent to Kevin Techau, U.S. Attorney for a district in Iowa,  which was signed by 107 former high ranking Department of Justice officials, FBI directors, federal judges and important law professors.  This letter confirmed the exceptional prosecutorial misconduct that resulted in a very punishing sentence for Rubashkin. Rubashkin’s sentence was an extreme one, especially since he was a first time offender. This type of drastic sentence is virtually unknown in the historical records of non-violent offenses, far exceeding those of many murderers and rapists.

Rubashkin and his lawyer celebrating his release

Furthermore, the judges made it nearly impossible for Rubashkin to sell his company. Bidders offered to buy the multi million dollar company for $40 million which would repay his bank loan. But the prosecutors purposely prevented the prospects by erecting a “No Rubashkin” rule, which was not only illegal, but also suppressed Rubashkin’s chance for a fair trial. The people who wanted to buy the company were told by the prosecutors that Aaron Rubashkin, who was the key to a trustworthy kosher meat company, would not be allowed to help advise them in any matters regarding the company. This effectively ruined Rubashkin’s chance of selling the company. Prosecutors kept turning away potential buyers, causing the lowest bid of $8.5 million to win, leaving Rubashkin in millions of dollars’ worth of debt.

The American justice system isn’t as just as some people think it to be. The case of Rubashkin is a prime example of a case that bordered on a veritable witch hunt that still remains difficult to understand. Both false testimonies and willful manipulation helped lead to this absurd prison sentence of a one time offender.