Sholom Rubashkin sentencing Wednesday - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Sholom Rubashkin sentencing Wednesday

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Sholom Rubashkin Sholom Rubashkin

 

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -- A former manager of an Iowa kosher slaughterhouse faces a possible sentence of life in prison for fraud, a punishment that even six former U.S. attorneys general say goes too far.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled to begin Wednesday for Sholom Rubashkin, a former manager at the Agriprocessors Inc. meatpacking plant. He was convicted of 86 financial fraud charges in November 2009.

Rubashkin has support within his own Hasidic Jewish community, but even those outside it question whether he should get the life sentence prosecutors are seeking for crimes that cost a bank $26 million.

Several former prosecutors, including former U.S. attorneys general Janet Reno and Edwin Meese III, have sent the judge a letter arguing for a shorter prison term.

There's a satellite room where Rubashkin's supporters are gathering to watch what is happening in the courtroom.

They are praying in the parking lot when the court takes breaks.  They also prayed there before Wednesday's proceedings got underway.

Supporters from Chicago, Minnesota, the East Coast, and all over the country have arrived to show their support.  They say they're here because Shalom Rubashkin in a kind-hearted man.

"I know what kind of person he is... That's why I'm here," said Rabbi Moshe Perlstein.  "I know special people in the families, and I know what kind of person Shalom Rubashkin is.
The kindness, the decency, and the goodness this person has done, and this family has done, deserves recognition and support from everybody."

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