Belief Beat

A federal judge has sentenced Sholom Rubashkin, the former head of the Agriprocessors kosher meat plant in Postville, Iowa, to 27 years in prison on fraud charges stemming from a $27 million loss to his lenders.

Rubashkin’s defense team and his supporters, including horrified members of his ultra-Orthodox Jewish base who believe anti-Semitism has tainted this process ever since the 2008 immigration raid on the plant, say this punishment far outweighs the crime, given the lighter sentences that other businessmen (Enron’s Jeffrey K. Skilling, Tyco’s Dennis Kozlowski, etc.) have received for similar or greater charges in recent years. But some others, including The Chicago Tribune’s editorial board, argue that this is an accurate punishment, and that it’s the other sentences that have not accurately reflected their crimes.

For more on this story, check out The Des Moines Register and JTA’s coverage, and.stay tuned for my reaction piece for Religion News Service tomorrow.

Check back for updates and share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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