Federal Judges Choose Lowered Sentences in 49 out of 74 Jan. 6 Cases

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A man identified as Jake Chansley, who calls himself the “QAnon Shaman," was among those arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Photo by Blink O'Fanaye via Flickr.

Federal judges in D.C. have gone below the government recommendation in 49 out of 74 sentencings held for Capitol riot defendants one year after the attack, or about two-thirds of the cases, reports the Washington Post.

Of the 74 people sentenced so far, 35 have been given jail or prison time, 14 home detention and 25 probation alone, with judges opting for probation in eight cases where prosecutors asked for jail time.

According to some sources on the bench, government plea deals in most misdemeanor cases, which make up 90 percent of pleas, are forcing judges to choose whether short jail terms or years of probation pose a stronger deterrent as prosecutors so far have focused on closing less serious cases to marshal resources for more complex trials ahead. U.S. district judges in Washington are limited by prosecutors’ decisions to let many rioters plead to a “petty offense” of illegally parading inside the Capitol or other misdemeanors, including at least 14 allowed to plead down from felonies, with some getting a break pleading early.

And even among seven felony cases sentenced so far, alongside 67 misdemeanor cases, judges have reduced the government’s proposed sentence in five of them. Besides the 49 cases in which the judges have imposed lesser sentences than requested by prosecutors, the judges have increased the proposed sentence in 11 cases, and given the exact sentence requested by the government in 14 cases.  Of the 49 sentences that have been below the government recommendation, 30 were by Republican-appointed judges.

One thought on “Federal Judges Choose Lowered Sentences in 49 out of 74 Jan. 6 Cases

  1. Seditious Conspiracy is an offensive charge, surely. His normal political rhetoric my have been taken too much to heart by any followers who heard in his plea for demonstrations, but there seems to be no sedition or treason intended in his words. No, he does not have any “class”, but I believe in [his] sincerity.

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