President Donald Trump this week commuted the prison sentence of kosher meatpacking executive Sholom Rubashkin, who in 2009 was convicted of 86 fraud charges following the previous year’s immigration raid on his family’s Agriprocessors plant in Postville, Iowa.
Rubashkin had been sentenced to 27 years in prison. At the time of the raid in 2008, Agriprocessors was the largest kosher meat processing company in the country. The 57-year-old father of 10 had served more than eight years of his sentence.
“The sentence previously imposed was unfair, unjust and essentially a life sentence,” said Rubashkin’s attorney Guy Cook, The Associated Press reported. “President Trump has done what is right and just. The unrelenting efforts on Rubashkin’s behalf have finally paid off.”
The Orthodox Jewish group Agudath Israel said that the “injustice of Mr. Rubashkin’s grossly excessive 27-year sentence was readily apparent to any fair-minded individual who reviewed the facts of the case. That is why so many Congress members from both sides of the political aisle, led by Senator Orrin Hatch and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and well over 100 former high-ranking Justice Department officials and other legal luminaries, have been publicly calling for executive clemency.”
Hatch, the Republican senior U.S. senator from Utah, called Trump’s decision on Rubashkin “a real Hanukkah miracle.”
“I am proud to be a part of a large, bipartisan group of members of Congress who, along with over a hundred former senior justice officials, have been calling for Mr. Rubashkin’s release for the past eight years,” Hatch tweeted.