Plenty of injustice to be found in Postville case

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: October 13 2012 | 8:38 am - Updated: 1 April 2014 | 1:54 am in
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“This is a sad day for justice in America,” said lawyer Guy Cook of the Supreme Court’s refusal to review Agriprocessors executive Sholom Rubashkin’s appeal (“U.S. Supreme Court won’t review kosher executive’s appeal,” Oct. 2). I’d argue that this is only the latest in a long line of injustices in the Postville case since the 2008 immigration raid.

Wasn’t May 12, 2008, also a sad day for justice, when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, equipped with helicopters and dark vans, seized Agriprocessors plant workers, put them in groups of 10 with shackles at the wrists, waists and ankles, then held them at the Waterloo Cattle Congress for up to 72 hours? Was it not a sad day for justice when children came home to find parents missing, and local churches were left to pick up the pieces of a town torn apart? Was it not a sad day for justice when 389 arrested workers were rushed through “fast track” trials (the constitutionality of which was later questioned), while the Rubashkin case, which centers around the $27 million he swindled, has dragged on for years?

Perhaps Rubashkin should get a chance to appeal, but where is that chance for the too speedily sentenced workers? We’ll find justice in America when the purpose of an arrest is actually law enforcement, not intimidation, and when our judicial system deems the lives of 389 individuals — regardless of immigration status — to be more valuable than $27 million.

Christin Tomy

Cedar Rapids

 

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