Lawyers say small sentence for Capitol rioter ‘would heal the nation’

  • A participant in the Capitol riots who pleaded guilty to obstruction is asking the court not to serve a prison sentence.
  • A Paul Hodgkins defense attorney filed a high-profile sentencing memo on Thursday.
  • The lawyer argues that Hodgkins should be granted leniency because he came forward to “accept the judgment”.
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One of the first Capitol riots defendants to plead guilty to the deadly Jan.6 attack calls on the court for a lenient sentence in a request that could serve as an indicator of early conviction for the hundreds of other defendants before the tribunal.

Prosecutors say Paul Hodgkins, 38, took a selfie inside the Capitol during the insurgency that ultimately drove the FBI to his door. The Florida man was arrested in February and charged with five counts in March. Hodgkins initially pleaded not guilty to all five counts, but changed his tone in June when he agreed to strike a deal, pleading guilty to one count of obstructing formal process, court documents show .

In a new range sentencing note Filed Thursday, attorney Patrick N. Leduc argues that Hodgkins, a “kind” and “thoughtful” man, should avoid jail, in part because “it takes courage and strength of character to be the first person to come forward and accept the judgment. “

In the 32-page document dotted with several references to Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War, George Floyd and Black Lives Matter, and Brett Kavanaugh’s hearings, Leduc argues that giving Hodgkins “a sentence that provides … charity” would go “A very long road to healing a nation that desperately needs to see what unearned ‘grace’ looks like.”

Hodgkins’ sentencing is slated for July 19. Leduc said in Thursday’s sentencing memo that Hodgkins had prepared a “powerful” statement for the court.

Hodgkins could face up to 21 months in prison and a fine of $ 250,000, according to federal sentencing guidelines, but Hodgkins has already agreed to pay $ 2,000 in restitution costs as part of his deal. advocacy.

His conviction later this month will only be the second case of a convicted Capitol riot participant. Last month Anna Morgan Lloyd was sentenced to three years probation and 120 hours of community service, but no jail time.

More … than 550 people were arrested and charged related to the insurgency so far.


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