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Iowa (AP) - Jury selection will begin Tuesday in the trial of a former kosher slaughterhouse owner and four workers accused of thousands of child labor violations, such as allowing teenagers to use meat grinders and exposing children to dangerous chemicals.
Sholom Rubashkin, awaits sentencing on 86 financial fraud convictions. Prosecutors asked a federal judge at a sentencing hearing last week to give Rubashkin 25 years in prison.
The state filed the charges in September 2008, about four m
"Throughout their employment, these children were exposed to dangerous and/or poisonous chemicals including ... dry ice and chlorine solutions,"
That complaint also claimed that children under 16 were allowed to use meat circular saws and power washers.
The trial begins as the former manager of the Agriprocessors Inc. meatpacking plant in Postville, Sholom Rubashkin, awaits sentencing on 86 financial fraud convictions
The labor departments “had identified suspected minors in the plant, and did not remove them,”
“It is outrageous to continue to let suspected children earn $7.50 per hour in a packing plant while an investigation plods on,” Brown wrote in the motion, which was later denied.
Former beef processing supervisor Jeffrey Heasley faces 844 child labor charges at a separate trial.
Jewish men wrapped in tallisim and tefillin gathered outside Cedar Rapids court house last Thursday, April 29, 2010 to pray during Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin’s sentencing hearing. Prayer vigils were also held in Lubavitch communities across the United States and Canada in the hope that their actions, referred as “saying tehillim” would help to influence the outcome of this controversial court case.
"Tehillim," which means psalms in Hebrew, refers to the Book of Psalms (part of the Hebrew Bible) that is often read on behalf of another when a person is sick or considered in danger.
Additional statements in support of leniency included letters from numerous former Justice Department staff and thousands of letters and phone calls by private citizens.
A letter from six former attorneys general also noted that a former president of the bank to which Agriprocessors owes money was found guilty of misapplying bank loans and is now serving a prison sentence. The letter was signed by attorneys general who had served under the Johnson, Reagan, Clinton and two Bush administrations.
Talmudic law dictates that Jews have a mitzvah to do everything within their financial and physical power to save a Jew who is in jeopardy.