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June 22, 2010

Some notable reactions and coverage of the severe white-collar sentence for Sholom Rubashkin

As reported here yesterday, a high-profile white-collar case culminated in a very long sentence for Sholom Rubashkin for his role in the financial fraud at a former Iowa kosher plant Agriprocessors Inc. This sentence has already produced notable reactions, as this abridged press review highlights:

Though a lot could and surely will be said about the long prison sentence imposed on Sholom Rubashkin, those who focus on sentencing patterns might especially want to recall that the sentence of 27 years given to Rubashkin is longer than the prison sentences imposed on the heads of Enron (Jeff Skilling) and WorldCom (Bernie Ebbers) and Adelphia (John and Tim Rigas).

June 22, 2010 at 05:15 PM | Permalink

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Comments

If the damage can be shown to exceed $6 million or any acceptable valuation of life, the defendant has murdered the economic output of a person. The death penalty seems called for after such damage.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jun 23, 2010 6:40:17 AM

Perhaps the 27 year sentence does exceed that of Skilling, Ebbers, and the Rigas, but it needn't have. By my admittedly rough calculations, if Rubashkin had admitted his crimes and gotten an acceptance of responsibility reduction instead of going to trial and perjuring himself, his advisory sentencing range would have begun in the 15 year range. Poor decision-making once caught often results in longer sentences. See Stewart, Martha.

Posted by: lawjunkie | Jun 23, 2010 3:05:22 PM

Good point lawjunkie. Rubashkin was total OL 41. If he had gotten minus 3 for acceptance and had he not gotten the 2 level bump for obstruction, then his total OL would have been 36. In essence, had he not gone to trial and testified, his Guideline range would have been 188 - 235. The bottom would have been 15 years 8 months.

The lesson: going to trial and testifying cost him 11 years and 4 months!

Posted by: DEJ | Jun 23, 2010 5:40:28 PM