Debbie Maimon

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Life? How Can They?

Capping almost a half century of what is colloquially referred to as the golden years of American Jewry, a Jew in this country is about to be figuratively burned at the stake. As the saga of the United States vs. Sholom Rubashkin enters the sentencing phase, it’s become apparent that this grotesque parody of justice is about to culminate in an outcome that sends shudders through anyone familiar with the case. The government is poised to lock up Sholom Mordechai for life - for life - for the “paper” crimes for which he was convicted. The actual sentence will be formally handed down on April 28 by Judge Linda Reade, after pre-sentencing recommendations have been forwarded by the prosecutor and probation officer. These government officers have already clearly staked out their positions. The prosecutor recommended 22-27 years imprisonment, which the probation officer, whose job is to arrive at an appropriate sentence by reviewing the total picture, jacked up to the most extreme sentence possible short of the death penalty: life imprisonment. Virtual life imprisonment has thus been ratcheted up to actual life imprisonment, absolutely unheard of in this country for a first-time, white collar offense.

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