Belief Beat

I’ve been following the case of Agriprocessors, a now-defunct kosher meat plant in Postville, Iowa, ever since an immigration raid found hundreds of undocumented workers (some underage, as well) there in May 2008. The plant was owned by the Rubashkin clan, which has been loyally supported by ultra-Orrthodox folks (the family belongs to the Chabad Lubavitch community), if not necessarily the wider Jewish world.

My latest story details the religious community’s protests over the possibility that Sholom Rubashkin may get life in prison for his crimes — based on financial misdeeds, not his employment practices, since the government opted to drop the immigration charges after he was convicted on 86 counts of fraud in November. There’s a lot of debate about whether the punishment fits the crime, and whether Rubashkin has been directly or indirectly treated unfairly, as a religious minority. Check it out on Beliefnet and the Huffington Post.

Religion Clause has more about the ongoing denial of bail to Rubashkin, who had requested to spend the time between his conviction and sentencing with his family, especially during Passover. The sentencing is scheduled for April 28. Check back for updates and share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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