Chassidus and prison. What happens when the two collide? In meeting with Reb Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin, I hope to learn the answer.
What began as a letter to Reb Sholom Mordechai has evolved over the months into a deep friendship. My class from Detroit shares a weekly dvar Torah with him and he reciprocates with one of his own, a weekly outpouring of pure Yiddishe hartz. A personal postscript often follows, as waves of mutual chizuk penetrate the cement blocks and barbed wire of the prison walls.
A powerful Reply Brief filed by Sholom Rubashkin and his attorneys uncovers fresh evidence of government misconduct in the withholding of crucial information from the defense that could have radically altered the outcome of the case.
The Rubashkin Recusal Motion, filed two weeks ago, shreds the legal veneer masking unethical actions on the part of prosecutors in the Iowa U.S. Attorney’s Office and Chief Judge Linda Reade that led to a travesty of justice in the Rubashkin case.
In asking Judge Reade to disqualify herself from ruling on the 2255 Motion that seeks to vacate Sholom Rubashkin’s conviction and sentence, the Recusal Motion lays bare serious, previously unknown improprieties committed by Judge Reade and the Iowa prosecutors.
Fueled by new revelations in the Rubashkin case, a Recusal Motion filed last week by Sholom Rubashkin’s attorneys asks Chief Judge Linda Reade to disqualify herself from the pending 2255 Motion filed in October. The latest legal bid rests on new disclosures that Judge Reade violated the defendant’s right to due process of law by withholding important information from his attorneys before his sentencing.
To briefly recap, the 2255 Motion alleged this same ethical and legal failure on the part of thegovernment. Withholding information which was the prosecutors’ duty to give Sholom Rubashkin - material that might have significantly affected his sentence - turned the conviction and sentencing into a travesty of justice.
The 2255 Motion sought on multiple grounds to have the trial vacated or at the minimum, to have the outrageous 27-year jail term set aside or corrected.
Appeal Brief: Gov’t Maneuvered to Drive Up Jail
Sentence: Gave Misleading Testimony to Court
A hard-hitting motion on behalf of Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin, filed this week, brings new evidence that the government violated his right to due process of law by concealing evidence that would have significantly affected his sentence.
A teleconference on Shivah Assar B’Tammuz, providing an update on current legal and investigative frontiers in the Rubashkin case, drew nearly 20,000 listeners from all parts of the country, testifying to the abiding concern in the religious community over the fate of Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin.
Hosted by Chazak and by Kol Mevaser Hotline, and emceed by Rabbi Aron Eisenberg of Monsey, the program featured a nationally recognized authority on criminal law and sentencing, Professor Douglas Berman of Ohio State University. Berman discussed the current legal initiative, the “2255 Petition,” being prepared by Rubashkin attorneys Wyrsch, Hobbs and Mirakian, a prominent law firm in Kansas City, Missouri.
Judge Stephanie Rose of Iowa, much-criticized for her role in the infamous “Postville prosecutions” when she was still a federal prosecutor, has come under fire after allegedly trying to manipulate criminal prosecutions, and for threatening retaliation against attorneys who made her angry.
Judge Rose was sworn in as a federal judge earlier this year, after opposition by those who believed she was a driving force in the “Postville prosecutions” had quieted down.
The 5th anniversary of the Postville raid a few weeks ago recalled not only the notorious law enforcement blitz that crushed Postville and collapsed America’s largest kosher slaughterhouse. It also marked the inception of an aggressive campaign to turn the fiasco into a launching pad for a new Conservative “ethics” hechsher known as Magen Tzedek.
The story behind Magen Tzedek, which rabbonim protested as a scheme to redefine kashrus and falsify halacha, remains one of the most disturbing chapters of the Rubashkin saga.
Last week’s commemoration of the 5th anniversary of the Postville raid has stimulated debate across the nation over whether anything has been learned from that infamous operation and its massive abuse of federal power.
During the 2008 military-style ICE raid that destroyed the town and the region’s economy, 600 local and national lawmen in riot gear swooped down on the Postville meat-packing plant, pounding doors open and arresting and shackling hundreds of defenseless men and women.