The Des Moines Register is reporting that the Kosher food processor, Sholom Rubashkin will be sentenced later today, to 27 years in prison for the financial offenses (i.e. he went too far in arranging loans to keep the family kosher food business afloat and) federal prosecutors demanded "life in prison." The sentencing memorandum of local federal prosecutors caused an outcry among some of thisi country's leading former prosecutors including former Attorneys General (including: Janet Reno, William Barr, Richard Thornburgh, Edwin Meese III, Ramsey Clark and Nicholas Katzenbach) of the United States. Since Mr. Ruabshkin is 51, the 27 year prison time gives the local federal prosecutors their wish.
As reported on Bad Lawyer, Mr. Rubashkin's conviction is problematic, since the federal prosecutors were allowed to make assertions during his trial on the financial crimes about the "general lawlessness" of Mr. Rubashkin's business practices while Mr. Rubashkin was prevented from defending against various allegations includng child labor crimes he did not commit. It may turn out that Mr. Rubashkin will obtain relief by way of a new trial or a Presidential pardon or commutation. The New York Times, this morning did an excellent and thorough look at the inequitable treatment of Mr. Rubashkin vis-a-vis Jeffrey Skilling and Dennis Koslowski who received relatively reasonable and moderate sentences for financial offenses seemingly far more fraudulent and self-seeking than Mr. Rubashkin's misguided manipulations to obtain credit to keep his Kosher food processing business open.
I do not understand dietary laws, not the rhyme nor the reason for these laws apart from reading and respecting the Torah, the Talmud and the Zohar and the faith of pious religious believers. I do know that observing and obeying dietary laws is very serious business among my Jewish and Islamic brothers and sisters who I regard as righteous. Mr. Rubashkin's situation is Rubashkin's creation just the same as my problems are the product of seeds I planted. I strongly empathize with him and his situation and I wish Mr. Rubashkin and his family nothing but blessings and light. Out of great darkness sometimes there is an opportunity for great light.
Compare this story with what we talked about yesterday when Bad Lawyer looked at the story of fabulous wealth transfers, including billions of dollars that would normally be due the federal government under normal estate tax laws. These amounts are dust in the wind because our lawmakers played political games with the federal taxing scheme. Ultimately federal building projects, roads, buildings, maybe even court houses will be named after those law makers while Mr. Rubashkin who tried to keep a religious way of life operating, may still be sitting in a penitentiary. I know these are unconnected matters, but we should not lose sight of the notion of genuine justice, particularly when it relates to the merely material world.