Judges Order Some Jan. 6 Defendants Released

Just the News reported that judges have ordered the release of some Jan. 6 prisoners while the Supreme Court considers a case that may impact the validity of their charges.

The Washington Post reported that attorneys for the defendants have argued the Department of Justice wrongly charged their clients with obstruction or impeding official government proceedings, claiming the latter is “limited to destroying evidence in governmental probes.”

The fight for justice has made its way through the courts, though at each turn, President Biden’s Justice Department asserted that those who entered the Capitol on Jan. 6 were attempting to overthrow the government and, accordingly, should receive lengthy prison sentences.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the matter next week. Their ruling could overturn the decision of 14 judges who issued multi-year sentences for more than 300 people involved in the events in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6.

Georgetown Law professor Julie Rose O’Sullivan asserts the high court’s decision in the matter could impact more than 1,300 defendants connected with Jan. 6, more than 100 other cases and could potentially derail special counsel Jack Smith’s 2020 election interference case against former President Donald Trump.

Many argue that Jan. 6 defendants were treated differently than other protestors in recent years. Notably, those involved in often violent Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests between 2020-2022 received significantly lighter sentences.

Newsweek reported that 623 Jan. 6 protestors received prison sentences. Those receiving disproportionately harsh sentences include Ethan Nordean, 32, who was sentenced to 18 years in prison. Dominic Pezzola, 45, was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Zachary Rehl, 38, was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Michael Steven Perkins, 40, was sentenced to 48 months in prison.

Attorneys representing the defendants argue that charges were often unduly amplified and exaggerated.

CBS reported on how Jacob Chansley, the “QAnon Shaman,” who famously sat in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s chair, was sentenced to 51 months in prison for activities more mischievous than malevolent.

At his hearing, Chansley told the court: “I am in no way shape or form a dangerous criminal. I am not a violent man. I am not an insurrectionist. I am certainly not a domestic terrorist. I am nothing like these criminals that I have been incarcerated with.”

Last month, Politico reported a federal appeals court determined that Jan. 6 defendants had their sentences improperly lengthened “by judges who determined that they had interfered with the administration of justice.”

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