NewsUSA and CanadaCapitol assault: leader of far-right Proud Boys group sentenced to 17 years...

    Capitol assault: leader of far-right Proud Boys group sentenced to 17 years in prison

    This is the second heaviest sentence handed down by American justice in this case.

    A leader of the American far-right group Proud Boys was sentenced Thursday to 17 years in prison for the assault on the Capitol, the sanctuary of American democracy, on January 6, 2021 in Washington.

    Prosecutors had sought 33 years in prison for Joseph Biggs, a former soldier who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, for leading some 200 members of the Proud Boys to the Capitol, the seat of Congress in the United States, in an attempt to prevent the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s victory over incumbent Republican President Donald Trump.

    It was the second-heaviest sentence handed down by US courts in the case, but most legal commentators expected an even harsher sentence.

    Accused’s regrets

    Judge Timothy Kelly took into account the aggravating circumstances for acts of terrorism requested by the prosecutors but emphasized that he had set the sentence at 16 years less than the requisitions on the grounds that the defendant “did not have the intention to kill”.

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    The accused had previously expressed his regrets, ensuring that he was now disgusted with politics and any affiliation with a group.

    In May, he was convicted of six counts, including sedition, along with other Proud Boys leaders.

    Another accused in this case, Zachary Rehl, for whom 30 years in prison have been requested, will know the quantum of his sentence during a hearing in the afternoon presided over by the same judge. Two more will follow on Friday, before the group’s leader, Enrique Tarrio, on September 5.

    “I am not a terrorist”

    The five activists were also found guilty of other lesser charges, such as obstructing the work of Congress or destroying public property. Prosecutor Jason McCullough argued at the hearing the seriousness of the assault on the Capitol and the need for dissuasive sentences.

    “There is a reason why we will have to hold our breath in the next election,” he said, asserting that the attackers had “wanted to intimidate and terrify” all those who opposed them.

    This day of January 6, 2021 “broke our tradition of peaceful transfer of power, one of the most precious things we had as Americans,” added the judge, insisting that this time was over.

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    Joseph Biggs spent more than two years in pretrial detention, sometimes up to 22 hours in solitary confinement. “I think he got the message,” argued his lawyer, Norman Pattis. “I know I did wrong that day but I am not a terrorist,” assured Joseph Biggs at the stand, gray hair and beard, in an orange detainee outfit revealing tattoos on his forearms, glowing in tears several times at the mention of his daughter and his mother.

    1,100 arrests since the assault on the Capitol

    In their written motivations in support of their requisitions, prosecutors describe the defendants as “foot soldiers of the right who wanted to keep their leader in power”, in reference to Donald Trump who claimed that the election had been “stolen” from him. .

    “Biggs behaved like the spearhead of the January 6 attack,” describing in a podcast the day after the events the assault as a “warning shot” for the institutions, according to them.

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    Since the attack on January 6, 2021, more than 1,100 people have been arrested and charged. More than half were sentenced, the majority to prison terms. The heaviest sentence handed down to date, 18 years in prison, was given to the founder of the far-right militia Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes.

    In his written arguments to the court ahead of Thursday’s hearings, Norman Pattis, who represents both Messrs. Biggs and Rehl, point out that it was only after hundreds of “ordinary citizens” that “the former president of the United States was indicted for his role in the events of that day.”

    Donald Trump was indicted in August by a federal court in Washington and by the courts of the state of Georgia (southeast) for his attempts to reverse the results of the 2020 election. “It appears that those who had the most to gain from the disruption of the vote counting on January 6, 2021 were the last to be prosecuted,” he expressed surprise.

    Source: BFM TV

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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