By COLlive reporter
Lawyers for Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin filed a petition for writ of certiorari today for the United States Supreme Court.
Rubashkin, who is serving a 27-year sentence for bank fraud, is seeking relief from the Supreme Court because the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to consider evidence that Rubashkin first discovered after the trial that made the trial fundamentally unfair.
The newly discovered evidence showed that the trial judge Linda Leade had participated for seven months before the immigration raid on Rubashkin’s meat-packing plant in planning for the raid. She and the prosecutors failed to disclose these meetings to Rubashkin’s trial lawyers.
Rubashkin is also seeking relief from the Supreme Court because the Eighth Circuit upheld his extraordinary 27-year sentence as “reasonable” even though the trial court did not consider whether that sentence would result in unwarranted disparities among similarly situated defendants, as required by federal sentencing law.
Rubashkin is represented by Paul Clement of Bancroft PLLC and Nathan Lewin of Lewin & Lewin, LLP.
“The Court of Appeals’ decision raised two issues of extraordinary importance to criminal defendants and to the proper functioning of the criminal justice system as a whole,” said Paul Clement.
“Sholom Rubashkin was given an unusually harsh sentence for his actions. In my entire career, I cannot recall a similar instance of harsh punishment for a non-violent, first-time offender with a long record of charitable service to his community.”
Lewin, who represented Rubashkin and argued his appeal in the Eighth Circuit, jointly authored the petition for certiorari with Paul Clement.
Mr. Lewin said, “The Supreme Court will surely recognize how outrageous and unjust Mr. Rubashkin’s prosecution and conviction have been and will, with G-d’s help, review and reverse the decision below so that he will be able to return as soon as possible to his loving family and community.”
Sholom Rubashkin was arrested for immigration-related charges six months after the Immigration and Customs Enforcement raided the meat processing plant, Agriprocessors, located in Postville, Iowa. Less than a month later, he was arrested again on bank-fraud charges. He was later acquitted of all state charges following the federal trial.
To date, more than 52,000 people have signed a petition on the White House’s “We the People” website, urging an investigation into misconduct by the prosecution.
Furthermore, 50 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have written letters to Attorney General Eric Holder, urging an investigation into the allegations of prosecutorial misconduct. In June, 75 U.S. Attorneys and law professors sent a letter to the DOJ Office of Professional Responsibility, joining the call for an immediate investigation into allegations of ex parte communications between Judge Reade and prosecutors.
Supporters of Rubashkin were asked to pray for Sholom Mordechai halevi ben Rivkah.