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September 20, 2012

Can a documentary impact odds of a cert grant in the (in)famous Rubashkin case?

In this post from a few months ago, I wondered about the odds as to whether SCOTUS grants cert in the (in)famous Rubashkin case.  As detailed in an amicus brief on sentencing issues I authored to support Rubashkin's cert petition (discussed here), I am hoping SCOTUS will take up this case.  But the odds of a grant in any case are always long, no matter how much attention a case receives.

That said, as detailed in this Des Moines Register piece, the Rubashkin case is getting a whole new level of attention just days before the cert conference in which the Justices are scheduled to consider the case.  The piece is headlined "Documentary highlights Rubashkin’s fraud conviction, Supreme Court appeal," and here are excerpts:

A documentary short released today that examines the power U.S. federal prosecutors wield in the U.S. criminal justice system features former Agriprocessors executive Sholom Rubashkin.

The 10-minute film, “Unjustified,” includes interviews with a variety of legal experts, among them former Solicitor General Paul Clement, the lead lawyer on Rubashkin’s appeal that asks the U.S. Supreme Court to shorten a 27-year sentence or order a new trial. The high court will decide this fall whether to hear the case....

Rubashkin argues U.S. District Judge Linda Reade, who presided over his trial, could not be impartial because he said evidence shows she met repeatedly with investigators planning the raid. He also argues his prison term was too long for a first-time, nonviolent offender.

The documentary is directed by Emmy-nominated producer Nicholas McKinney, known for his work on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” and Michael Moore’s Bravo TV series “The Awful Truth.”

The 10-minute video, titled “Unjustified: The Unchecked Power of America's Justice System," is available via YouTube at this link.

Related posts on the Rubashkin case:

September 20, 2012 at 03:30 PM | Permalink


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I'm a defense attorney and sympathize with anyone sentenced by Linda Reade, especially if she was acting in concert with the prosecutors, but I think it is unseemly to try to influence the Supreme Court with press, documentaries, etc.

Posted by: anon | Sep 22, 2012 12:56:27 AM

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