Word has leaked out from the Linn County Correctional Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, that R’ Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin, who has been denied bail pending his sentencing, has been placed in solitary confinement. This absolutely shocking revelation compounds the already continuous travesty of justice in the Rubashkin case, as has been recorded and analyzed here on Matzav.com over the past few months.
This recent horrific action came after Sholom Mordechai was suddenly forced to share his cell with a new prisoner who was transferred from another jail after the authorities there could not keep him under control. It is said that this prisoner has been jailed for assaulting a family member of his.
This new roommate of Sholom Mordechai’s immediately expressed his hatred for his Jewish counterpart, calling him “dirty Jew.” The thug physically threw Sholom Mordechai - while he was wearing his tallis and davening - across the room, stating that he was going to kill him. Sholom Mordechai expressed to those with whom he spoke that he was - and is - afraid for his very life.
The prison authorities, in an appalling response to the thug’s actions, claimed that it “takes two to tango” and that the incident was as much the fault of Sholom Mordechai as it was this violent, convicted criminal. The authorities subsequently placed Sholom Mordechai in solitary confinement.
It should be noted that Sholom Mordechai, whose imprisonment pending his sentencing is altogether inexcusable and unfounded, has been a model citizen and completely cooperative from the day he was taken, in handcuffs, from the courthouse following his trial.
“People don’t realize what goes on in a jail,” an askan told Matzav.com this evening. “It is not a ‘country club’ jail out there in Cedar Rapids. It is a frightening experience, where an inmate such as Sholom Mordechai is filled with fear for his life and has every reason to be terrified of the criminals with whom he has been jailed.”
When he was first placed in solitary confinement, Sholom Mordechai was not allowed any communication with family and friends. He now sits in a cell with nothing but a cement block on which to sleep and a skimpy towel to use as a “pillow” - all because of the ghastly actions of an anti-Semite.
Sholom Mordechai, based on what has leaked from the prison, is permitted to leave his cell for 30 minutes a day, when he is brought together with others who are also in solitary confinement - surely not a pleasant or safe experience for a frum, yarmulke-clad, bearded Jew.
Solitary confinement can last from five to ten days.
This latest move is a clear violation of Sholom Mordechai’s rights as a prisoner, because, as mentioned, he has followed every directive since being imprisoned.
The Jewish community has already expressed profound concern and dismay over the harsh position taken by federal prosecutors in Iowa with respect to the pre-sentencing detention of Sholom Mordechai. In light of numerous objective factors that make it clear that Sholom Mordechai is not a flight risk, and in light of certain compelling personal and familial considerations that render his pre-sentencing detention particularly cruel, the prosecutors’ ongoing insistence that Sholom Mordechai remain incarcerated through the long months he awaits sentencing is unjustifiable and even inhumane.
Last year, Sholom Mordechai was imprisoned for 76 days prior to his trial, also on the ostensible theory that he was a flight risk. Eventually, the District Judge agreed that pre-trial detention was inappropriate.
Although Sholom Mordechai complied with every detail of the terms under which he was ultimately released before trial, the District Judge, at the urging of the prosecution, imprisoned him again after the jury’s verdict - as a result of which Sholom Mordechai has been held in prison since November 12, 2009, pending his sentencing. His appeal from that decision is now pending, after an unexplained denial by three Circuit Judges, before the full Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
This latest horrendous decision by the Linn County Correctional Center is disturbing and wrong. May Hashem watch over Sholom Mordechai.
Please continue to daven for Reb Shalom Mordechai ben Rivkah.…
[Hat Tip: Baruch.]
UPDATE 2-11-10 1:15 pm CST – Rubashkin got into a fight with another inmate over TV volume in a common room.