President Donald Trump Commutes Sentence of Shlomo Rubashkin

President Donald Trump Commutes Sentence of Shlomo Rubashkin

President Donald Trump, in a first exercise of his power to commute criminal sentences, cut short the 27-year prison term of a kosher meatpacking executive and rabbi who was convicted eight years ago of bank fraud, the White House said on Wednesday.

The statement added that Rubashkin - a first time, non-violent offender and father of 10 - was sentenced for longer than the "median sentences for murder, kidnapping, sexual abuse, child pornography and numerous other offenses exponentially more serious than his".

In a statement, the White House said Mr. Trump's commutation of the sentence was encouraged by leaders from "across the political spectrum", including Republican Sen Orrin Hatch of Utah and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.). Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents raided the plant in May 2008 and arrested almost 400 Mexican and Guatemalan immigrants who were living and working in the country illegally.

Trump has used his pardon power just once so far: to spare former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio the prospect of serving jail time by wiping away a federal conviction stemming from immigration patrols that focused on Latinos.

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"The sentence previously imposed was unfair, unjust and essential a life sentence", he said via email.

President Donald Trump speaks to the media during a Cabinet meeting at the White House December 20, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Rubashkin's attorneys previous year accused prosecutors of improperly interfering with the sale of Agriprocessors and depressing its sale price by millions. Prosecutors accused him of using the fake documents to defraud a St. Louis-based bank of $27 million. Robert Teig, a former federal prosecutor in Iowa, said that Rubashkin's sentence "was what he earned because of his conduct" and that "it's a sad state when politics are allowed to interfere with the justice system".

More than 100 U.S. attorneys general, judges, and other judicial professionals signed a letter to Trump in February, pleading for clemency on Rubashkin's behalf.

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Attorneys for Rubashkin filed several appeals, even asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case but were denied.

"A bipartisan group of more than 100 former high-ranking and distinguished Department of Justice (DOJ) officials, prosecutors, judges, and legal scholars have expressed concerns about the evidentiary proceedings in Mr. Rubashkin's case and the severity of his sentence".

Sholom Rubashkin was facing a 27-year sentence that members of both parties said was too long. It cited bipartisan support for the action from legislators, including Rep. Steve King of Iowa, and former Department of Justice officials.

"The outrage is backwards", he said.

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