Belief Beat

Belief Beat

Sentencing Scheduled Next Month for Kosher Slaughterhouse Chief

After spending the last two days hearing arguments over the controversial sentencing of Sholom Rubashkin, a Hasidic Jew convicted of fraud related to how he ran Agriprocessors, the now-defunct kosher meat plant based in Postville, Iowa, U.S. District Court Judge Linda Reade announced she will issue her ruling on May 27.

Prosecutors had initially recommended a life sentence, but have now requested a 25-year term, which the defense argues still comes out to life in prison for the middle-aged father of 10. (They suggest a 6-year term instead.) As I reported earlier this month, Rubashkin’s supporters have actively campaigned for a more lenient ruling, and recently produced a letter signed by six former attorneys general, ranging from the Eisenhower to the Clinton administration, suggesting that “a modest number of years” would be more appropriate punishment for the first-time, non-violent offender in this case.


A 2008 raid had found hundreds of undocumented workers at the plant, which led to Rubashkin’s initial arrest and the subsequent financial investigation.The government opted to drop the time-consuming and cost-prohibitive immigration case after the “decisive” fraud conviction, The New York Times explains; Rubashkin and several former Agriprocessors managers still face misdemeanor state charges of child labor violations.

Check back for updates on this story, and share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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