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January 6 Defendants


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Today is the second, I think, sentencing for someone charged with offenses on January 6 in the Capitol

 

The first, Anna Morgan-Lloyd, pled guilty to a misdemeanor - apparently spent less than 10 minutes in the Capitol, and was sentenced to probation.

 

Today, Paul Hodgkins is being sentenced after pleading guilty to a felony.  Hodgkins asked for probation, sentencing guidelines call for 15-23 months.  The hearing was this morning, and the judge is ruling from the bench now.

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Zoe Tillman@ZoeTillman · 2m

Moss notes that coming up with a sentence is complicated because there is no benchmark, since Hodgkins is the first felony plea in the Jan. 6 cases and this situation "defies" comparison to any garden-variety obtsruction offense

 

Moss finds that a downward variance in the sentence is warranted, but not as much as defense wants — notes lack of criminal history, early acceptance of responsibility and decision to plead guilty, "sincere" statement to the court from Hodgkins

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NOW: A judge has sentenced Capitol rioter Paul Hodgkins to 8 months in prison — it's the first sentencing in the Jan. 6 cases for a felony plea. It's below the 18 mos requested by the govt and the estimated range of 15-21 mos; it's above what Hodgkins requested, which was no time

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As near as I can tell - Hodgkins was not charged with any violent acts.  He did make it into the Senate chambers, carrying a Trump flag (but I don't see any mention of using violence to get to the Chambers.)

 

He also pled guilty, and showed remorse.

On the balance of things - I think 8 months seems a little harsh.  And, if I had a client who was facing the more serious charges, I would be thinking about cutting a deal soon.

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You're flirting with disaster here GB.  People have a vested interest in getting discussion on this stuff shut down.  The other thread finally bit the dust.  I assume they'll be here to get this one shut down as well.  Though I will say, I think this is a good idea of a thread where we stay focused on the law side.  Ultimately these decisions will be what defines the events of that day in history. 

Good Luck to you!

:blackdot: 

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1 minute ago, Sinn Fein said:

As near as I can tell - Hodgkins was not charged with any violent acts.  He did make it into the Senate chambers, carrying a Trump flag (but I don't see any mention of using violence to get to the Chambers.)

 

He also pled guilty, and showed remorse.

On the balance of things - I think 8 months seems a little harsh.  And, if I had a client who was facing the more serious charges, I would be thinking about cutting a deal soon.

Hodgkins was also an Eagle scout and had volunteered at a Tampa food bank. Prosecutors say he came "prepared for violence" because he carried rope, latex gloves and goggles. The sentence seems harsh.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jul/19/trump-supporter-capitol-attack-riot-sentencing

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3 minutes ago, zoonation said:

8 months seems harsh on these facts.  I’d be shaking in my boots if I was one of the hundreds of the formerly law abiding citizens awaiting sentencing.  

Not harsh as far as I'm concerned. He participated in an insurrection that breached the Capitol building and went into the Senate Chambers. He and the others charged need to be made an example of even if they engaged in no acts of violence themselves. A proverbial slap on the wrist here would only encourage others to do this type of thing in the future. 

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15 minutes ago, supermike80 said:

Im good with all of this.  Message needs to be sent.  You can be against the current government, but you are never allowed to overtake a building like the capitol.

Agree.

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I think 8 months is getting off easy. I doubt he serves the whole amount. However if his remorse is genuine, letting him off a bit easy is probably warranted. 

 

That being said. This should terrify those with more serious charges. I think this established the floor for anybody who goes to trial at about 2 years. I expect some very long sentences for the anybody on tape being violent. 

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15 minutes ago, Drunken Cowboy said:

I think 8 months is getting off easy. I doubt he serves the whole amount. However if his remorse is genuine, letting him off a bit easy is probably warranted. 

 

That being said. This should terrify those with more serious charges. I think this established the floor for anybody who goes to trial at about 2 years. I expect some very long sentences for the anybody on tape being violent. 

It's not just the time in jail. It will affect his job or job prospects, ability to pay bills, and he could be a felon for life. Those who were violent will get longer sentences. 

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46 minutes ago, The Commish said:

You're flirting with disaster here GB.  People have a vested interest in getting discussion on this stuff shut down.  The other thread finally bit the dust.  I assume they'll be here to get this one shut down as well.  Though I will say, I think this is a good idea of a thread where we stay focused on the law side.  Ultimately these decisions will be what defines the events of that day in history. 

Good Luck to you!

:blackdot: 

Agreed. It’s the largest investigation in the history of the DOJ. We must be able to discuss it…

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49 minutes ago, The Commish said:

You're flirting with disaster here GB.  People have a vested interest in getting discussion on this stuff shut down.  The other thread finally bit the dust.  I assume they'll be here to get this one shut down as well.  Though I will say, I think this is a good idea of a thread where we stay focused on the law side.  Ultimately these decisions will be what defines the events of that day in history. 

Good Luck to you!

:blackdot: 

Yes, let’s just stay focused on the legal process and updates re: charges and sentencing. 

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13 minutes ago, SoBeDad said:

It's not just the time in jail. It will affect his job or job prospects, ability to pay bills, and he could be a felon for life. Those who were violent will get longer sentences. 

He pled guilty to a felony. Even if the judge gave him all he was looking for, that still would have been true.

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1 hour ago, Sinn Fein said:

On the balance of things - I think 8 months seems a little harsh.  

Maybe a little, but I think it's about right.  I'm good with going easy on people who got caught up in a mob mentality and did something dumb on the spur of the moment, but this guy sounded like he was more of an instigator than a tag-along.  I also agree with @supermike80 that we need to send a message that this sort of thing is totally unacceptable, full stop.  Handing out some robust jail sentences -- nothing crazy, but nothing than anybody really wants to eat either -- should help with that.  

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18 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

Maybe a little, but I think it's about right.  I'm good with going easy on people who got caught up in a mob mentality and did something dumb on the spur of the moment, but this guy sounded like he was more of an instigator than a tag-along.  I also agree with @supermike80 that we need to send a message that this sort of thing is totally unacceptable, full stop.  Handing out some robust jail sentences -- nothing crazy, but nothing than anybody really wants to eat either -- should help with that.  

I get all that - but I just wonder if the harsh sentences could be saved for the brazenly violent offenders.  And, to be fair, those harsh punishments are likely coming, given that many have lost pre-trial detention hearings.

 

I am more of a give everyone a second chance when they show they deserve it.  Here, you get an early guilty plea - clear evidence of accepting responsibility and remorse, clean record up to this point.   I would be in favor of keeping the jail population lower (as I think its an ineffective tool), and maybe going for a lengthy community service sentence, that still serves as a reminder, but also does more good for society.

 

The defendants who can be proven to have been violent with Capitol Police, and/or property destruction crimes - sure I can support harsher sentences.

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1 hour ago, IvanKaramazov said:

Maybe a little, but I think it's about right.  I'm good with going easy on people who got caught up in a mob mentality and did something dumb on the spur of the moment, but this guy sounded like he was more of an instigator than a tag-along.  I also agree with @supermike80 that we need to send a message that this sort of thing is totally unacceptable, full stop.  Handing out some robust jail sentences -- nothing crazy, but nothing than anybody really wants to eat either -- should help with that.  

You're nicer than me. Probably why I'm not a judge. 

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1 hour ago, Drunken Cowboy said:
1 hour ago, SoBeDad said:

It's not just the time in jail. It will affect his job or job prospects, ability to pay bills, and he could be a felon for life. Those who were violent will get longer sentences. 

He pled guilty to a felony. Even if the judge gave him all he was looking for, that still would have been true.

After this has run its course should a Democrat president pardon those that had no other record, were not involved in violence, etc.???  Would that be helpful at all?  Would that be the right thing to do? Or would it just be seem as a cynical ploy?

My bleeding heart says we should.  But my cynical schemer side also says we should for very different  and much less noble reasons.  

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6 minutes ago, Bottomfeeder Sports said:

After this has run its course should a Democrat president pardon those that had no other record, were not involved in violence, etc.???  Would that be helpful at all?  Would that be the right thing to do? Or would it just be seem as a cynical ploy?

My bleeding heart says we should.  But my cynical schemer side also says we should for very different  and much less noble reasons.  

God no.  The President should stay away from this.  Far far away.

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2 hours ago, Osaurus said:

That “sovereign citizen” is up now, right? I hear she’s gonna get herself more time with the way she’s acting in court. Yeesh.

I’ve representing a few of these. Curious which arguments she’s advancing. 
 

It’s correct that it usually doesn’t end well. 

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5 minutes ago, supermike80 said:

God no.  The President should stay away from this.  Far far away.

Sure today while it is happening, but how about five years from now?  A decade from now?  

And I'm not trying to minimalize the day or suggest that what happened would ever be okay.  I just wonder how we best set the example that this is not okay while balancing against creating even more hostility for "ruining the lives of people that were caught up in the moment".  The part in quotes isn't my argument, but the argument that I think is reasonable to anticipate being made at that time.  And an argument that I suspect will need to be navigated even by those that might scoff at the very idea.  

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Zero sympathy for these people. Adults should know that actions have consequences.  Storming a federal building has serious consequences. 

Not saying their lives need to be over but I'm ok with every single person who entered that building (even if they didn't "get violent") doing a year in jail. 

 

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3 hours ago, The Commish said:

You're flirting with disaster here GB.  People have a vested interest in getting discussion on this stuff shut down.  The other thread finally bit the dust.  I assume they'll be here to get this one shut down as well.  Though I will say, I think this is a good idea of a thread where we stay focused on the law side.  Ultimately these decisions will be what defines the events of that day in history. 

Good Luck to you!

:blackdot: 

It's a legit subject, not sure why anyone would object. If posters don't behave themselves,  delete them instead of an obviously newsworthy story.

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36 minutes ago, Bottomfeeder Sports said:

Sure today while it is happening, but how about five years from now?  A decade from now?  

And I'm not trying to minimalize the day or suggest that what happened would ever be okay.  I just wonder how we best set the example that this is not okay while balancing against creating even more hostility for "ruining the lives of people that were caught up in the moment".  The part in quotes isn't my argument, but the argument that I think is reasonable to anticipate being made at that time.  And an argument that I suspect will need to be navigated even by those that might scoff at the very idea.  

I think the president should stay out of this. Forever 

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3 hours ago, Sinn Fein said:

As near as I can tell - Hodgkins was not charged with any violent acts.  He did make it into the Senate chambers, carrying a Trump flag (but I don't see any mention of using violence to get to the Chambers.)

 

He also pled guilty, and showed remorse.

On the balance of things - I think 8 months seems a little harsh.  And, if I had a client who was facing the more serious charges, I would be thinking about cutting a deal soon.

I've given this some thought in the last hour and, assuming there isn't anything of weighty significance in the presentencing investigation report that was presumably prepared, I think this sentence appears appropriate. The judge obviously stongly considered some mitigating factors (e.g. remorse, lack of criminal history) or the judge wouldn't have gone below the statutory ranges. On the other hand, there's a legitimate general deterrence factor to consider given the obvious background of the incident. 

I find the more I do this that it becomes more difficult to not weight a particular case or fact pattern against similar ones I've encountered. From that sense, and to give some goalposts, I recall a judge sentencing a defendant (and shocking me quite a bit at the time when it happened) to one year after the defendant drunkenly went into the wrong home after a night out and the homeowners came home to the guy drinking milk out of their fridge and screaming at them (that defendant did have historical prior felonies that weighed heavily against him). I also recall a trespass where a defendant went into a home to make sure the homeowner's pet had food and water and the judge reduced the charge to a $50 civil fine. 

But yeah I think for both a legal-analysis lens and a "forget what I know about the federal sentencing guidelines and the plea, what do I think is just here?" lens, 8 months seems very reasonable to me as it is lenient enough to account for the lack of criminal history and being swept up in the moment yet harsh enough to send the message that it is not okay to physically intrude upon our most important legislative body and that our structure of government depends on civility. 

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1 hour ago, Zow said:

I’ve representing a few of these. Curious which arguments she’s advancing. 
 

It’s correct that it usually doesn’t end well. 

You’ve acted for sovereign citizens?!  Do tell!

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Just now, zoonation said:

You’ve acted for sovereign citizens?!  Do tell!

Well, not to the extent that they probably wanted me to. I'm still beholden to ethical rules that preclude me from knowingly raising false claims in court so there are several objections and jurisdictional arguments/issues I have had to decline to raise. 

I did once mid-trial raise an objection pursuant to some Flag Act or some such as I did not know in the moment that it was a frivilous objection. 

Edited by Zow
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33 minutes ago, Zow said:

But yeah I think for both a legal-analysis lens and a "forget what I know about the federal sentencing guidelines and the plea, what do I think is just here?" lens, 8 months seems very reasonable to me as it is lenient enough to account for the lack of criminal history and being swept up in the moment yet harsh enough to send the message that it is not okay to physically intrude upon our most important legislative body and that our structure of government depends on civility. 

Is having a felony conviction on their record consistent with your experience?  That is where I start having some sympathy for those "caught in the moment".  But I don't have a lens to evaluate whether that is different here or just normal.   

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47 minutes ago, supermike80 said:

I think the president should stay out of this. Forever 

Okay fair enough.  I'm just wondering out loud how feasible that will be.  Maybe I have an exaggerated sense of the cloud this creates in the future.  Maybe they are forgotten and we all move on rather than my fear that they linger as some form of martyrs.  I'm good you with you being proven correct here.

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3 hours ago, Zow said:

I’ve representing a few of these. Curious which arguments she’s advancing. 
 

It’s correct that it usually doesn’t end well. 

 

She's combining sovereign citizen arguments with just plain crazy arguments.

link

Quote

But in what experts describe as an inadvisable legal strategy, Bauer has demanded to represent herself in court, appeared to threaten a court clerk with prison time, and declared herself a “self-governed individual” with special legal privileges.

Bauer does not simply appear in court, she clarified during a June 11 proceeding via Zoom. “I am here by special divine appearance, a living soul,” she told a judge that day, while stating that she did not want an attorney.

“I do not stand under the law,” she said. “Under Genesis 1, God gave man dominion over the law.”

 

Typical sovereign citizen stuff.  But wait, there's more:

Quote

In one document, filed last week, Bauer listed a series of strange alternative spellings of her name in a document that she (incorrectly) claimed freed her from some government control.

Mark Pitcavage, a senior research fellow at the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, said such documents are typical of sovereign citizens, a pseudo-legal movement to which Bauer appears to subscribe.

“Sovereign citizens will often refer to themselves as ‘flesh and blood’ people. They do this because they have this longstanding belief that the government has created artificial versions of them for various nefarious purposes,” Pitcavage told The Daily Beast, noting that the document appeared to be Bauer’s attempt to reclaim all supposed versions of herself.

 

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4 minutes ago, the rover said:

 

She's combining sovereign citizen arguments with just plain crazy arguments.

link

 

Typical sovereign citizen stuff.  But wait, there's more:

 

Yeah that's beyond the general gold trim on the flag nonsense and the claim that in order for one to be bound by a nation's laws they actually have to literally sign a contract with the governmental entity or the government has no authority over them. 

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4 minutes ago, the rover said:

Sovereign citizens will often refer to themselves as ‘flesh and blood’ people. They do this because they have this longstanding belief that the government has created artificial versions of them for various nefarious purposes.

 

Significant development if true.

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1 hour ago, Bottomfeeder Sports said:

Is having a felony conviction on their record consistent with your experience?  That is where I start having some sympathy for those "caught in the moment".  But I don't have a lens to evaluate whether that is different here or just normal.   

It's a mixed bag. But, here, given the gravity of the circumstance it doesn't appear to be inappropriate - especially given the applicable law. 

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3 minutes ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

 

Significant development if true.

I’m wondering what my artificial version(s) is/are doing right now for the Feds.

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11 minutes ago, ekbeats said:

He was going to be clearing out some brush later?

Is it possible you’ve never cleared brush before? I would’ve gone with science experiment.

Edited by bigbottom
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2 hours ago, Bottomfeeder Sports said:

Is having a felony conviction on their record consistent with your experience?  That is where I start having some sympathy for those "caught in the moment".  But I don't have a lens to evaluate whether that is different here or just normal.   

I wasn't caught up in the moment, but then again I didn't travel hundreds of miles to an event that was openly organized with threats of extremist violence, enter a government building, directly or indirectly threaten any congresspeople, and nobody died as a result of my getting caught up in the moment.  

Edited by bostonfred
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56 minutes ago, the rover said:

Typical sovereign citizen stuff.  But wait, there's more:

 

There are a few YouTube channels that post the body-cam footage of various police departments. 

It is both sad and amusing to watch these sovereign citizen types get pulled over for not having license plates, and then get arrested for not having a license or registration or proof of insurance.

I feel bad for the cop who has to stand there and try to keep the situation de-escalated while these people rant about how the law doesn't apply to them.

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Where are we supposed to discuss McCarthy nominating three members of Congress to the Jan 6 committee, including Jim Jordan,  who voted to overturn a democratic election?  I mean, are we being punk’d? 

Good thing Nancy can veto this absurdity. 

Edited by zoonation
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14 minutes ago, zoonation said:

Where are we supposed to discuss McCarthy nominating three members of Congress to the Jan 6 committee, including Jim Jordan,  who voted to overturn a democratic election?  I mean, are we being punk’d? 

Good thing Nancy can veto this absurdity. 

:shrug:

not here though please. Let’s just keep this focused on the legal system updates. 
 

You can try starting a Jan 6 commission thread, or wait for Tim. 

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3 hours ago, bostonfred said:

I wasn't caught up in the moment, but then again I didn't travel hundreds of miles to an event that was openly organized with threats of extremist violence, enter a government building, directly or indirectly threaten any congresspeople, and nobody died as a result of my getting caught up in the moment.  

Fair enough.  I can agree with all of this and still have some sympathy for those that never learned the lesson of never doing idiotic things as a member of a group that you would not do solo as an individual.  That is a lesson that bites so many and not only in the arena of politics, but also in things like religion, sports, etc.  This time it will be a big "bite".    But ultimately the question was whether or not receiving the "felony" on the record was more or less to be expected to the degree that @Zow could extrapolate from his experience (where 1/6 of course is not "normal" to begin with).  I accept that his saying that it was probably appropriate means just that.  

Edited by Bottomfeeder Sports
@Zow didn't register at first
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9 hours ago, zoonation said:

8 months seems harsh on these facts. 

 

My take is they should all be stripped of US citizenship, have all their assets seized and be immediately deported. And once the Capitol rioters are handled, the same should happen for every rioter and looter and those who committed crimes/violent acts all of 2020 in Big Blue Cities from seemingly endless unrest.

Not harsh enough. If you breach the Capitol, you should go get tossed out of a boat into a third world hellhole and fend for yourself without the protection of being a US citizen. Same if you were in Portland and thought it was a good idea to throw molotov cocktails at people, cars and buildings to try to burn innocent people alive.

There are small businesses owners who were burned out. That was the only means to earn a living to feed their families. Some of those people will eventually end up homeless. Some of those people have kids. Homeless children. For what? To maintain a few strategic voting blocks for November.  Disgusting.

The mistake many Republicans make is how to handle the very small subset of Republicans who go off the rails. These folks are used as stalking examples to justify punitive authoritarian broad sweeping laws and policies meant to silence any type of dissent. If all Republicans were more punitive, to an exhaustive degree, to their own, then the woke cancel culture leftists, the true identity politics zealots, have no more witch hunts to fall back on. A cancel culture with no one to cancel begins to shine the full light of that insanity to the moderates and undecideds.

Some people are just sadists with a button down shirt where they wished they could just pop that collar and be told it's OK to cry about their feelings.

Those who constantly scream for "cancelled" blood are always the first to walk away when the price to be paid is to start drinking it by the gallon.

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58 minutes ago, zoonation said:

Those who can’t articulate, use emojis.  

Actually emoji convey several words at a time, plus an emotion. That's why they were invented. Shorthand with emotion. It's right there in the name. Shocked you didnt know that. 

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