Longest prison sentence yet given for Jan. 6

August 2, 2022

Not only are they not patriots, they are direct threats to our democracy and will be punished as such.

U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich in his sentencing decision for a man present at the January 6 Capitol Hill Riot. The defendant received a 7-year sentence — the longest sentence imposed yet in relation to January 6.

Why It Matters: Guy Reffitt — the first person to go on trial for the January 6 Capitol Hill Riot — received a seven-year sentence. Six other Capitol riot defendants have had a jury trial; each case has received a unanimous decision for conviction.

  • Reffitt attended the events on January 6 “with a holstered handgun, helmet and body armor” (Associated Press). He apologized during his trial. In regard to why he stormed the Capitol, he said, “It was a big blur. It was just very chaotic and confusing.”
  • More from the judge: According to The Washington Post, “Reffitt had every right to his political views, to peacefully protest, and to support, vote for and associate with whomever he chose, Friedrich said, ‘but what Mr. Reffitt and hundreds of other Capitol riot[ers] did not have the right to do is to storm the Capitol, carrying firearms, trespass, refuse law enforcement commands or to resort to violence.'”
  • Big Picture: Over 800 people have been charged with crimes related to the events of January 6. More than 340 people have pleaded guilty, at least 220 have been sentenced, and about 150 others are awaiting trial.

Man who stormed Capitol with gun gets longest prison term (Associated Press)

by Jenna Lee,