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August 31, 2023

Proud Boy Joe Biggs sentenced to 17 years for Jan 6 activity after seditious conspiracy conviction (mid-way between parties' recommendations)

As reported in this Hill piece, "Proud Boy Joe Biggs on Thursday was sentenced to 17 years in prison, the second-highest sentence handed down to anyone convicted in connection with the Capitol attack." Here is more on the first of a series of notable sentencing of Proud Boys:

Biggs was convicted of sedition and other serious felonies earlier this year after being accused of leading members of the right-wing extremist group to the Capitol and talking with the first rioter to breach police barricades just minutes before he acted....

Addressing the court, Biggs said he is “sick and tired of left versus right,” and that the only group he wants to be a part of in the future is his daughter’s parent-teacher association. “I know I messed up that day, but I’m not a terrorist,” he said through tears.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly ultimately applied a terrorism enhancement to Biggs’s sentencing guidelines, wherein a defendant must have committed an offense that “was calculated to influence or affect the conduct of government by intimidation or coercion, or to retaliate against government conduct.” Kelly cited Biggs’s efforts to tear down a fence separating rioters from the Capitol and bringing them “one step closer” to their objective of halting the 2020 election certification as reason for applying the enhancement. “I really don’t think this is a close call,” he said of the decision.

Still, the 204-month sentence was significantly short of what prosecutors requested — 33 years in prison, the highest sentencing request for any defendant tried in connection with the Capitol attack.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason McCullough argued Thursday that Biggs’s rhetoric leading up to and after the Capitol attack demonstrated the need for a significant sentence. While the 2020 election votes were still being tallied, Biggs began advocating for violence and espousing false claims of election fraud — claims that prosecutors said ultimately motivated him and other Proud Boys to try to stop the certification of the vote on Jan. 6, 2021. “Joe Biggs will continue to carry out acts of political violence to meet his agendas,” McCullough said. “Until this country bends to his will — to his view of the world — these are not words; they’re convictions.”

A 33-year sentence is also recommended for Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio, whose highly anticipated sentencing was postponed at the last minute Wednesday. Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes was sentenced in May to 18 years in prison, the highest sentence tied to Jan. 6 to date.

Biggs requested a sentence between 27 months and 33 months in prison, or less than three years. His attorney, Norman Pattis, said Thursday that the nation’s political strife cannot be attributed to Biggs when the front-runner in the 2024 presidential race — former President Trump — has been criminally indicted four times. “To suggest this is Biggs’s fault is silly,” Pattis said.

Biggs and defendant Zachary Rehl placed blame on Trump for the Capitol attack in their joint sentencing memo. They said that Trump’s role is not “justification for their actions” but suggested that having heeded the former president’s calls that day “should yield some measure of mitigation.”...

During their trial, the five Proud Boys defendants often suggested Trump was responsible for the riot at the Capitol that day — not them. “It was Donald Trump’s words, it was his motivation, it was his anger that caused what occurred on Jan. 6,” Tarrio attorney Nayib Hassan said in closing remarks of the trial....

The other Proud Boys will be sentenced later this week. Rehl’s sentencing is scheduled for Thursday afternoon, while defendants Dominic Pezzola and Ethan Nordean are set to be sentenced Friday.

I find it quite interesting, but perhaps not all that surprising, that the sentencing judge here imposed a sentence that is almost exactly mid-way between the sentencing recommendation of the prosecution and the defense.

August 31, 2023 at 04:51 PM | Permalink


And yet the DOJ will go easy on people who firebombed a cop car during the right kind of riot.

Posted by: federalist | Aug 31, 2023 4:54:32 PM

This judge has lost his mind. If these doofus rioters wanted to take over the Government, they could have just pushed the ancients and fragile Pelosi, McConnell, Jamie, Thune the bulimic, and various dementia Congressionals out of their nap sites and spas.
A whole lotta bilge because Trump was cheerleading this pack of boobies.

17 years? Give this judge a few books to read on the Constition, law, and the common man.

Posted by: Fluffyross | Sep 1, 2023 9:59:20 AM

I think the sentences were entirely appropriate. For more than 250 years we could proudly say to the world one of the greatest traditions and virtues of our government was the peaceful transfer of power. Alas, no more. Generations of Americans to come will shake their heads in dismay and sorrow at the disgraceful actions of these morons. As my Latin teacher would say, "sic semper proditores."

Posted by: Emily | Sep 1, 2023 10:50:57 AM

Emily, congratulations on having studied Latin. Me too! Not to many folks have the chance to puzzle through that wonderful language. I fully agree with your opinion. The harm these traitors did to our country will become more and more apparent as the years pass.

Posted by: Dave | Sep 1, 2023 11:16:52 AM

"traitors"---hmmmmmm. What, because they didn't accept the results of a rigged election . . . .

don't you really mean Joe Biden, whose bagman son took money from the ChiComs.

Posted by: federalist | Sep 1, 2023 1:52:53 PM

Federalist, take your beef up with the jurors who convicted these traitors of seditious conspiracy.

Posted by: Dave | Sep 1, 2023 6:19:37 PM

Federalist, with your crackpot view that the election was "rigged," have you considered applying to Fox News as a commentator?

Posted by: anon13 | Sep 1, 2023 6:52:48 PM

Hillary came closer to stealing an election than those rioters could have ever dreamed of.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Sep 1, 2023 10:34:08 PM

For the pretenders of a classics education, purloining worn phrases to adorn the overblown sentencing of Jan. 6th "traitors" and treason-ites: la tragedia est comedia.

Posted by: Fluffyross | Sep 2, 2023 9:25:12 AM

Fluffyross--I consider folks who have been convicted by a jury of seditious conspiracy traitors because they have betrayed the principles on which the country was founded. country.

Posted by: anon12 | Sep 2, 2023 7:35:32 PM

anon13, what would you call an election where the chief law enforcement agency of a country suppresses information and where ballot security laws are tossed into the wind?

Posted by: federalist | Sep 5, 2023 11:28:39 AM

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