In our current legal system, prosecutors have tremendous power to choose and amplify charges while the Judges they argue before have extreme discretion as to how they hand down sentences. And when this happens, we are faced with the shocking reality that stands in direct contrast to our nation’s claim to guarantee the accused a fair trial.
The Supreme Court is currently in a position to address these issues in the case of 'Sholom Rubashkin v. The United States of America.' The case is before them for review.
It is not the guilty verdict that demands the Supreme Court’s attention, but the charges and harsh sentencing of a seemingly over-zealous judicial system. It is critical that the Supreme Court agree to review this case as it stands to set legal precedent for certain gray areas of the current law, like mandatory minimum sentencing, over-criminalization, prosecutorial power and the boundaries of the relationship between judges and the prosecutors who argue before them.
Tell the Supreme Court to ACCEPT this case. Tell them to HEAR this case. Tell them to rein in the Justice System they preside over -- a system that currently sees over 95% of all cases end in a plea bargain rather than a constitutionally guaranteed trial by jury. Prosecutors are routinely piling on charges to create "slam dunk" cases and improve their personal "conviction rates." Judges are sentencing for crimes with wildly varied results -- your punishment may no longer fit the crime so much as it fits the courtroom in which you are tried.
In the case of Mr. Rubashkin, the federal government turned the largest immigration raid in US history into a bank fraud case concerning a $35 million business loan. Rubashkin was found guilty on 86 of 91 counts related to fraud. For those crimes, he faced over 1,000 years in prison. At sentencing, prosecutors sought a life sentence until six former US Attorney Generals and other Justice Department veterans wrote to the judge objecting to such harsh punishment. Prosecutors revised their request to 25 years in prison; Judge Linda Reade sentenced Mr. Rubashkin to 27 years - more than many other white-collar criminals whose crimes far exceeded the value of Mr. Rubashkin's.
A subsequent Freedom Of Information Act request returned documents demonstrating Judge Reade had worked with prosecutors in the months leading up to the initial raid on Mr. Rubashkin's business, creating what his defense argues “at the very least the appearance of impropriety.’
America is a nation of laws. Those laws must be administered fairly and equally, not separately and with creative discretion.
To those we grant power, we demand accountability.
Tell the Supreme Court to HEAR THIS CASE.
Tell them to hear your voice.