Thursday, December 21, 2017

Trump Commutes Sentence of Sholom Rubashkin

The White House announced yesterday that President Trump has commuted the prison sentence of Sholom Rubashkin, saying that it was "an action encouraged by bipartisan leaders from across the political spectrum, from Nancy Pelosi to Orrin Hatch." According to the White House's announcement:
Mr. Rubashkin is a 57-year-old father of 10 children.  He previously ran the Iowa headquarters of a family business that was the country’s largest kosher meat-processing company.  In 2009, he was convicted of bank fraud and sentenced thereafter to 27 years in prison. Mr. Rubashkin has now served more than 8 years of that sentence, which many have called excessive in light of its disparity with sentences imposed for similar crimes.
This action is not a Presidential pardon.  It does not vacate Mr. Rubashkin’s conviction, and it leaves in place a term of supervised release and a substantial restitution obligation, which were also part of Mr. Rubashkin’s sentence.
In 2011, the 8th Circuit upheld Rubaskin's conviction and sentence. (See prior posting.) After his bank fraud conviction, charges against Rubashkin of hiring of illegal aliens in his meat packing plant were dropped.  Des Moines Register reports on developments, along with further background.