Less than a week before the US Supreme Court considers whether it will rule on his case, supporters of former kosher slaughterhouse CEO Sholom Rubashkin have released a YouTube video laying out arguments on his behalf.
The 10-minute clip, featuring interviews with a number of legal experts, claims that Rubashkin, currently serving 27 years in a New York state prison, received a sentence wildly out of proportion with his crimes, and charges that the ex-businessman was himself the victim of inappropriate collusion between prosecutors and his eventual judge.
Entitled “Unjustified: The Unchecked Power of America’s Justice System,” the video traces the path of Rubashkin, now 52, following the May 2008 raid of his Agriprocessors slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa, where authorities charged him with illegally employing underage laborers and a variety of financial crimes. Participants in the slickly produced clip include Alan Vinegrad, a former US Attorney from the Eastern District of New York, and Angela Davis, a law professor at American University.
Posted Tuesday, the video notes that 51 members of Congress have asked US Attorney General Eric Holder to examine the case, and leads viewers to a Facebook page devoted to Rubashkin, who was acquittted of the labor charges but convicted of 86 counts of financial wrongdoing. The film’s Facebook page directs visitors to an online petition on his behalf, which so far has gathered 2,050 signatures.
Rubashkin’s most recent effort to receive a new trial was rejected in September 2011 by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. Members of the Supreme Court will meet Monday to decide whether they’ll hear his case.