In an op-ed that appeared in Sunday’s Wall Street Journal, former United States federal judge Charles Renfrew and former United States attorney for the Northern District of Iowa James Reynolds charge that federal prosecutors unlawfully intervened numerous times in the Rubashkin case in order to ensure a maximum jail term.
The two also allege that prosecutors attempted to keep their behind the scenes maneuverings hidden from the public eye.
“The prosecutors who charged him wanted to extract a pound of flesh, and then some – even at the cost of illegally overstepping their bounds and interfering in the bankrupt company’s sale,” wrote Renfrew and Reynolds in their op-ed.
As previously reported on VIN News (http://bit.ly/2gwMZuo), more than 100 big names in the legal world called on U.S. Attorney Kevin Techau to correct injustices perpetuated against Rubashkin, citing evidence of prosecutorial tampering in the sale of the Agriprocessors poultry plant in Postville, Iowa.
Those actions allegedly lowered the price of the plant by millions, giving prosecutors an opening to seek a life sentence against Rubashkin.
Rubashkin has already served seven years of his 27 year prison term, an amount of time that Renfrew and Reynolds charge is more than double the sentence he should have received had prosecutors not intervened illegally.
In addition to asking for a presidential pardon, the two well known names in the legal world called on Congress to take steps to deter future prosecutorial abuse, suggesting that illegal tampering by those who are charged with watching over the criminal justice system should be classified as a felony.
“The watchers must be watched,” wrote Renfrew and Reynolds. “If they are not, the criminal-justice system will too often deliver the kind of injustice that Sholom Rubashkin is experiencing.”