Oct 24, 2022

January 6 Defendant Gets 48 Months for Nonviolent Offenses

Matthew Bledsoe’s punishment is one of the harshest for nonviolent January 6 defendants.
January 6 Defendant Gets 48 Months for Nonviolent Offenses

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Written by Hudson Crozier

According to the Department of Justice: Tennessee man Matthew Bledsoe scaled a wall and entered the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, shouting inflammatory statements about lawmakers such as, “Where’s those pieces of s--- at?” After being convicted of nonviolent offenses, he has received a 4-year prison sentence and fines amounting to $4,000.

Disparity in the justice system: Earlier this year, a man who set fire to a building during the Black Lives Matter riots that killed a man inside was sentenced to just 10 years in federal prison. Though sentencing guidelines recommended at least 16 and a half years, the Department of Justice (DOJ) argued that the defendant believed he was “engaging in the language of the unheard.” He was never charged with homicide.

Why we’re seeing this: Attorney General Merrick Garland has claimed that the unorganized Capitol riot was a “dangerous threat to democracy.” Garland said the DOJ has “no higher priority” than to prosecute January 6 defendants.

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