Ben Brafman: Rubashkin Sentence is “Beyond Excessive, Patently Offensive”

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ben-brafman The 27-year bank fraud sentence imposed Tuesday on Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin is widely viewed by law professors and criminal defense attorneys alike as too severe.

“A sentence of 27 years is beyond excessive, it is patently offensive – especially for a nonviolent crime in a case where the defendant had no prior criminal record,” said noted criminal attorney Ben Brafman, who was not involved in the case, as reported by Stewart Ain in The Jewish Week.

James A. Cohen, associate professor of law at Fordham University School of Law who was also not involved in the case, said of the sentence: “There’s a concept in sports known as ‘piling on.’ This situation could fairly be described as piling on.”

A stiff sentence had been expected because the federal judge, Linda Reade of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is “the second-worst sentencer in the country, and lawyers who have appeared before her said she is cruel,” said Washington, D.C., attorney Nathan Lewin, who will handle Rubashkin’s appeal.

But few expected her to impose a sentence that is two years more than federal prosecutors requested following his November conviction on 86 counts of financial fraud and related offenses.

Brafman said in an e-mail that a judge is required to impose a “reasonable sentence that is ‘not’ greater than necessary. My expectation is that this sentence will not pass appellate review and Mr. Rubashkin’s case will be sent back for re-sentencing before a different judge.”

Lewin said the severity of the sentence would be one of his grounds for appeal. He pointed out that such a sentence for a man who turned 50 in October “is tantamount to life.”

{Read more at The Jewish Week/Matzav.com Newscenter}

16 COMMENTS

  1. Come on Ben – Come help set this injustice straight. Ben, join Nat Lewin and Mark Weinhardt and let’s start getting this crazy ruling overturned!

  2. We need mr. Brafman and other heavy hitter lawyers to get involved. We need a team of the best attorneys, jewish and non jewish. We owe it to reb sholom.

  3. Shouldn’t there be some grounds for appeal just because she was the person who ordered the original raid (of which Rubashkin was aquitted on all accounts, ie the raid was totally unwarrented). Now that she became a judge it would seem that there is some conflict of interest in her judgement.

  4. WHERE IS THE DAN LEKAF ZECHUS?
    HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT BEN BRAFMAN HASN’T WORKED FOR REB SHOLOM?
    JUST BECAUSE HIS NAME ISN’T ON THE FRONT PAGE OF THE NEWS PAPER?!

  5. Nat Lewin is a fantastic lawyer. Did any of you stop to think what Mr Lewin would feel like if he read your comments? Or de we suspend all thoughts and feelings of others the second we “log on?”

  6. Quite amazing!!!!! O J Simpson MURDERED his wife in cold blood….did he receive 27 years???
    Just Yesterday a Long Island man received 19 years with the possibility of parole after a few years- for here cold blooded and pre meditated murder.
    the appeal should be fought on the basis of – “not guilty…by reason’s of insanity- LINDA READE’S insanity. This lady should be removed from the Judicial system, and institutionalized

  7. If R’ Sholom was sentenced to 27 years the CEO of BP and all of his accomplices should get the electric chair!!! Yidden we must unite and do all that we can to reverse this travesty.

  8. Sholom Rubashkin we all pray that
    your appeal is expeditious fast and
    that G-d fearing judges hear your case
    and we wait for you TO COME HOME!
    asap — as for Linda Reade the dishonorable JUDGE that should be removed immediately. SHE SHOULD KNOW THAT HASHEM SEES EVERYTHING
    THIS CONDUCT WILL NOT BE FORGIVEN!!!

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