Former Agriprocessors executive Sholom Rubashkin was denied a new trial by a U.S. appeals court. The St. Louis Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 16 that Rubashkin did not prove in his bid for a new trial that the presiding judge in the original case, Linda Reade of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, should have recused herself because she was involved in planning the May 2008 federal immigration raid on Agriprocessors that led to the company’s bankruptcy later that year.
Rubashkin, the former head of what once was the nation’s largest kosher slaughterhouse and packing plant, located in Postville, Iowa, was convicted of financial fraud in 2009 and sentenced to 27 years in prison. Rubashkin is in a federal prison in New York state. In the federal raid on the plant, 389 illegal immigrants were arrested, including 31 children. The appeals court also disagreed with Rubashkin’s contention that the sentence was too long. A Rubashkin attorney told the Des Moines Register that his client would appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.