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Proud Boys Leader Behind US Capitol March Receives 17-Year Prison Sentence

August 31, 2023

A prominent figure in the Proud Boys, who orchestrated the far-right group’s infamous march to the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, has been handed a 17-year prison term – marking one of the lengthiest penalties given to a convicted participant in the riot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joe Biggs, the individual in question, faced a Washington, DC jury and was found guilty of several charges, including seditious conspiracy. His aim was to forcibly obstruct the peaceful transfer of power from then-President Donald Trump to Joe Biden following the 2020 election.

District Judge Timothy Kelly, delivering the sentence, emphasized the significance of American rights but noted that the events of January 6, 2021, broke the country’s tradition of peaceful power transition. Kelly expressed the sensitivity of that constitutional moment, justifying the significant punishment.

Originally, prosecutors had urged for a 33-year prison term for Biggs, arguing that he and his co-defendants had been at the forefront of political violence in the nation and intended to alter its course. However, Judge Kelly opted for a lesser sentence, mindful of consistency with sentences given to others involved in the same events.

This verdict stands as the second longest sentence dealt to an individual convicted in connection to the Capitol attack. The highest sentence of 18 years was given to Oath Keeper leader and founder Stewart Rhodes.

During his appeal, Biggs, attired in an orange prison jumpsuit, expressed remorse and acknowledged his need for punishment. He pleaded with the judge for the opportunity to care for his daughter. While admitting his error in judgment, he maintained that he was not a terrorist and was drawn into the mob due to curiosity.

Throughout the trial, prosecutors presented evidence indicating Biggs and three co-defendants had planned and incited violence leading up to the Capitol attack. When the riot erupted, these individuals allegedly hung back as others surged forward, engaging in confrontations with police and breaching the Capitol.

Biggs and his associates were convicted of various charges related to January 6, including obstruction of official proceedings, conspiracy, and aiding and abetting. Prosecutors deemed their actions more severe than those of the Oath Keeper defendants, requesting harsher sentences.

Judge Kelly highlighted Biggs’ participation in removing a fence on Capitol grounds as a factor in his decision, as it brought the mob closer to breaching the Capitol. This act resulted in an enhancement under the domestic terrorism sentencing penalties.

The prosecutors contended that the mob’s actions aimed to intimidate and terrify officials and the nation at large, aiming to impose their perspective. This development marks a pivotal moment in the aftermath of the Capitol breach, underlining the consequences for those involved in the attack.

Credit: CNN

 

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