Does Sholom Rubashkin Deserve Freedom?

Washington D.C. lawyer for Agriprocessors Nat Lewin writes:

Rarely does the Anti-Defamation League take up the cudgels for a Lubavitcher chassid. But in a recent letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, the ADL protested a federal magistrate’s ruling that Sholom Rubashkin, the former CEO of AgriProcessors kosher meatpacking plant, will be confined in prison and not released on bail while awaiting his September trial in Iowa on federal criminal charges alleging immigration-law violations and bank fraud. The magistrate’s reliance on the fact that Rubashkin, an American-born Jew, could claim Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return has generated a storm of outrage from many Jewish groups. They note, correctly, that if Rubashkin may be confined before his trial simply because Israeli law entitles Jews to Israeli citizenship, any Jew accused of a crime in the United States can, for no reason other than his religion, be denied bail.

The legal and constitutional flaws in the magistrate’s decision issued in November 2008 are so flagrant that, when asked to reconsider, the magistrate recently tempered his original reasoning. He said that the defense counsel “attaches too much significance” to the “single reference” in his earlier opinion to Israel’s Law of Return and purported to rely on other grounds for denying bail. But in responding on January 5 to the latest appeal filed by Rubashkin’s counsel, the federal prosecutors continued to defend their reliance on Rubashkin’s possible future claim to Israeli citizenship and on his “cultural heritage.” They cited judicial decisions in which individuals who were already dual citizens of the United States and a foreign country were denied bail because they might flee to the foreign country where they still held citizenship.CONTINUE…


About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
This entry was posted in Agriprocessors and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.