HOUSTON — Why are the people convicted in the January 6th riot not getting sentenced to significant prison time?
The answer comes down to several factors. Politico has created a database of every sentence so far in the Capitol riot. More than 700 people have been arrested so far, and the FBI is still searching for more. Of those, just over 70 have been sentenced.
What Politico found is that many of the defendants are taking plea deals with the most common deal being for illegally parading or demonstrating in the Capitol – a misdemeanor. And according to report several judges have gone on the record expressing concern that the charge does not reflect the gravity of the crime.
Less than half the people sentenced so far have received prison time. The longest sentences handed out have been for people who attacked law enforcement. One of the only people to receive a heftier prison term without attacking police was the so called QAnon shaman, who became a symbol of the riot.
Also many of the people suspected of more serious destruction inside and outside of the Capitol have not been prosecuted yet. They are expected to face more serious consequences. And even those convicted of lesser crimes aren’t walking off scott free.
A justice department official told CNN probation means many rioters will be under strict supervision and could face harsher punishments if they break the law again.