More verdict hearings are planned for the first few months of this year, and many more are expected to be added if the defendants reach an agreement with prosecutors or are found guilty at trial.
There are more than 700 people arrested for crimes related to the attack on the Capitol and the investigation is ongoing, and about a tenth of them – 71 – were convicted on January 1.
While these numbers represent only a fraction of previous criminal cases, they have already become a blueprint for future judgments – a foundation that is likely to solidify as more cases are closed.
Here are some takeaways from the last year of penalties.
Judges are not thrilled with the low-level pleading deals
Most of the judgments so far have been given for crimes at a relatively low level. By far the most common charge is the illegal parade or demonstration in the Capitol, a misdemeanor, However, judges have repeatedly voiced their thoughts on the severity of the damage caused by members of the mob on January 6th.
“It screeched the government to a standstill that day,” Judge Royce Lamberth said during Frank Scavo’s conviction in November. “The consequences for the nation … must be weighed.”
Judges have raised concerns on several occasions as to whether the actual indictment matches the defendant’s offenses. Beryl Howell, the chief judge of the DC court, said in late October that prosecutors’ approach was “almost schizophrenic” given the gap between their characterization of the insurrection and the terms of the negotiations they are negotiating.
“The rioters who attacked the Capitol on January 6th weren’t just intruders who participated in sheltered conduct or protests under the First Amendment,” Howell said during that conviction, during which the Tennessee Jack Griffith was given three years probation. “Not only were they disorganized, as countless videos show that the mob that attacked the Capitol was violent. Everyone who participated in the mob contributed to the violence. “
Prison sentences are rare – until now
Of the more than 70 people convicted, less than half received prison sentences for their actions in the days surrounding the uprising.
This is partly because many of those convicted so far have only been convicted of illegally entering the Capitol and were not involved in the more violent and destructive aspects of the storming of the building. As of the end of December, only seven defendants had been convicted of criminal offenses.
Prison stays are often short among those detained. The average prison sentence so far is 45 days.