August 5th, 2010
09:58 PM ET

Kosher processer Rubashkin asks for a new judge

From CNN's Talya Minsberg:

Agriprocessors executive Sholom Rubashkin’s trial may be becoming nearly as messy as his shuttered meatpacking plant.

Rubashkin’s lawyers claimed Thursday that U.S. District Court Chief Judge Linda Reade, the judge in the case, met with the law-enforcement team that participated in the May 2008 immigration raid of Agriprocessors kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa.

According to Rubashkin’s counsel, Judge Reade had not disclosed this information before presiding over the trials.

“The government’s own memoranda show that more than six months before the raid, Judge Linda Reade began a series of meetings in which she collaborated with the law-enforcement team that prosecuted the case against Sholom Rubashkin,” Nathan Lewin, lead appallete counsel for Rubashkin, said Thursday.

“Without disclosing to defense counsel her meetings with the U.S. attorney and the support she expressed for the raid, she presided at Mr. Rubashkin's trial, and then immediately had him imprisoned, and sentenced him to two years more in prison than the prosecution requested,” Lewin said.

Rubashkin, who is currently in prison, was sentenced to 27 years in prison in June. Prosecutors had sought a 25-year sentence.

Attorneys for Rubashkin filed a motion on Thursday that the case be transferred to another judge. “The jury’s verdict must, on this account, be vacated, as well as Judge Reade’s decision to deny release on bail to Mr. Rubashkin,” Lewin said.

A press release from Rubashkin’s legal team says the government did not initially respond to the counsel’s request for Freedom of Information Act documents in February 2009. Those documents were released to Rubashkin’s lawyers after the trial concluded.

“What can be learned from the redacted memoranda about Judge Reade’s participation in the planning of the raid on Agriprocessors may be only the tip of the iceberg,” Lewin said. “But even this tip is sufficient for an objective observer to doubt the perception of impartiality.”

Neither Reade nor the prosecutors were immediately available for comment.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Food • Judaism • Kosher

soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. solkeys

    Judge Reade is shameless. She doesn't even recuse herself from this motion. She just ruled today Monday Aug. 9,2010 0n a request by the prosecutors to get more tome to answer this motion and she granted them.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  2. M. Abrahams

    To Da

    "Shalom Rubashkin and his family have a history of abusing society for their own gain" from where is this known? Only from the media that (judge) Linda made sure to let them in on false statements. While making sure to cover up her own dirty anti semitic acts. Let her now suffer what she wanted him to suffer & free Shalom right now. Also I think you should compare his crime to hers & let's see who's is worse

    August 8, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
  3. John

    Linda Reade will resign before being impeached, by the time Nat Lewin is done with her. She is not only anti semetic, she is anti American!

    August 8, 2010 at 1:47 am |
  4. Ari

    Do to linda what she had tried to Rubashkin. Let her sit for 27 years! FREE him now! What a disgrace.

    August 7, 2010 at 11:08 pm |
  5. Kenster

    Perhaps this is one of those "activist" judges we keep hearing about but never seem to see.

    If there are loopholes in the law or in the procedures that are supposed to be followed, what a shocking surprise to encounter anyone who actually takes advantage of them...

    August 6, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  6. Harry

    Linda Reade allowed her emotional involvement to get mixed in here and tarnished her own name and disparaged that of this great country's legal system. I dont know the extend of Rubashkin's guilt, but the justice dep't owes the poor guy an apology.

    August 6, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
  7. YidAlerts

    Lee I agree with you 100%

    August 6, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
  8. d.diamond

    It is rather interesting to note that Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack recently gave awards to the prosecution team of the
    Rubashkin case. He quickly apologized though for his comment regarding Ms. Sherrod.

    August 6, 2010 at 11:55 am |
  9. Lee

    what a shame on American justice! fire the judge! free Rubashkin!

    August 6, 2010 at 10:54 am |
  10. @ JCS

    Thank you for reminding us of why we have a system of justice in America. How sad that you fail to recall how the gov't tried this case in the media long before the trial even began. Keep your bias and hatred to yourself.

    August 6, 2010 at 7:16 am |
  11. Not surprised

    Once again, inaccurate reporting by CNN. And such a simple fact known by all that is so easy to check. Sad that this is what passes as journalism nowadays. Interesting how this is the only article on the web about the new motion that has the word kosher in it. Typical CNN sensationalism and bias.

    August 6, 2010 at 7:14 am |
  12. DA

    This is beginning to look like the infamous Stalin trials, where people were sentenced long before they were even arrested or charged...

    August 6, 2010 at 6:09 am |
  13. JCS

    The appeals process should take its course in the courts and not in the media. Shalom Rubashkin and his family have a history of abusing society for their own gain. All of this talk of Judge Reade's bias – I for one smell a red herring and it is glatt kosher.

    August 6, 2010 at 5:40 am |
    • Chris

      " Rubashkin's history of abusing society for their own gain". you are probably referring to the way Rubashkin created thousands of job opportunities and busting Iowa's economy...

      August 6, 2010 at 8:17 am |
    • James

      You have NO knowledge to back up that asinine statement.

      August 6, 2010 at 11:47 am |
    • Carl

      Your last words show from which camp you come...

      August 16, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
    • Chris

      What is clear is that Rubashkin never had a chance at a fair trial, and that Linda Reade was obviously not impartial, nor could she be. The 8th Circuit will reverse much of this travesty on appeal, and I'd be shocked if Linda Reade escapes this without a censure. Reade is a disgrace to the court and is not qualified for her position.

      August 18, 2010 at 2:19 am |
  14. Brian

    Linda is a disgrace! She should pay for her crimes. Hard time like she so lightly imposes as others in her 'impartial' justice.

    August 6, 2010 at 1:25 am |
  15. Chris Steffen

    Linda Reade will probably be impeached as the full extent of her judicial deception is made public. Although the government refused to provide the relevant information before trial, as required by law, Rubashkins lawyers sued and got it after the trial. I wonder how many other defendants were denied a fair trial by this ignorant disgrace Linda Reade ?!

    August 6, 2010 at 1:08 am |
  16. Howard

    Shame shame on Judge Linda Reade, she sat as a judge but acted as a prosecutor, Judge Linda Reade put a huge stain on the American Justice System.

    August 6, 2010 at 12:41 am |
  17. BenJ

    I think I, too, would ask for a new judge under those circumstances. But there are guidelines to follow in any case. These legal maneuvers are a common occurrance in court cases. Why is this a good subject to comment upon in a blog about faith? Am I wrong?

    August 6, 2010 at 12:01 am |
  18. Golanbenoni

    Injustice is symptomatic of moral a decline. This judge should see time herself. Shame on her.

    August 5, 2010 at 11:38 pm |
  19. Levi

    "Rubashkin’s counsel sought a 25-year sentence."
    What?! The prosecutors sought the 25 year sentence. His counsel sought a sentence in the single digits (6 or 7 years)

    August 5, 2010 at 11:27 pm |
  20. NR

    "Rubashkin, who is currently in prison, was sentenced to 27 years in prison in June. Rubashkin’s counsel sought a 25-year sentence." This, of course, is a mistake. The _prosecution_ sought a 25-year sentence. The judge gave the man even more than prosecutors asked for.

    August 5, 2010 at 11:22 pm |
    • mike

      De Angelis, who committed a far bigger fraud in the Salad Oil Scandal only got 7 years.

      August 26, 2010 at 11:39 am |
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