As BLACK ENTERPRISE previously reported, Enrique Tarrio and other members of the Proud Boys were sentenced for their roles in the Jan 6 insurrection. Now, the Department of Justice is looking to appeal the length of the sentences Tarrio and his associates received.
According to Axios, the sentences of Tarrio, Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl, and Ethan Nordean ran between 15-22 years, but the federal government is not satisfied with those lengths.
In Tarrio’s case, the prosecution sought a 33-year sentence, and longer sentences for the other men. Tarrio’s lawyer, Nayib Hassan, told Axios that the appeal was ludicrous, before adding that he looked forward to looking over “whatever the government intends to file as a basis for their appeal.”
According to The Messenger, all five men appealed the length of their sentences in September to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which initially sentenced them for the Jan, 6 insurrection. According to USA Today, legal experts explain that the move from the government is incredibly rare, because judges generally have the power to determine appropriate punishment. Defendants, however, will usually appeal sentences whenever the opportunity arises.
According to the outlet, The Proud Boys were offered plea deals, which they summarily rejected. The plea deals were sentences about half the length of what they ended up receiving once the trial concluded.
Barbara McQuade, a former U.S. attorney in Michigan, told USA Today, “What the government was offering in exchange for a guilty plea was a benefit − a shorter sentence that they were otherwise exposed to,” McQuade explained. “By rejecting the plea deal, the defendants rejected the opportunity to receive that benefit. After trial, then, they face the sentence commensurate with their crime.”
In addition to the appeals for Proud Boys members, the DOJ already has appealed sentences issued to another extremist group, the Oath Keepers. None of the Oath Keepers received sentences over 12 years, which the DOJ views as too short for the severity of the crimes they are accused of.
McQuade told USA Today that unless specific conditions are met, the initial sentences handed down will generally stand, saying, “Unless the sentence is wildly outside of the guidelines range, and the court fails to articulate on the record its reasons for calculating the sentence as they did, sentences are typically affirmed on appeal.”
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