Politics

Man Gets 8 Months Prison For Entering Capitol

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A man who engaged in non-violent protest at the Capitol on January 6 was sentenced to eight months in prison this week for obstructing an official proceeding.

Paul Allard Hodgkins, 38, of Tampa, Florida, was sentenced Monday after he pleaded guilty to a single felony count of obstructing an official proceeding, after he was identified in videos and photos inside the Senate chamber carrying a Trump 2020 flag.

While the count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and prosecutors asked for 18 months, Hodgkins — who did not engage in any violence or property damage — received eight months, the longest punishment of three sentenced so far.

U. S. District Court Judge Randolph Moss told Hodgkins, “Although you were only one member of a larger mob, you actively participated in a larger event that threatened the Capitol and democracy itself.”

“The damage that was caused that way was way beyond a several-hour delay of the vote certification,” Moss added. “It is a damage that will persist in this country for several decades.”

Mona Sedky, an assistant U. S. attorney argued that imposing prison time “will send a loud and clear message to other would-be rioters that if and when they’re caught, they will face a serious sentence. So there won’t be a next time.”

Meanwhile, hundreds of people who were arrested in connection with riots last summer have seen their charges dismissed. According to a June 2021 analysis of New York Police Department data by NBC New York, there were 485 arrests in Manhattan, but 222 had their cases… (Read more)