Politics

January 6th Defendants Deserve Due Process

Everyone does.

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No reasonable person holds any brief for anyone who took part in the January 6th riot. Just the opposite. But that doesn’t mean the rioters shouldn’t get due process, as should every single American.

If the January 6th rioters are guilty, then properly prove it in a court of law with the tools the law provides. Denying them due process and violating their civil rights only proves some of their points on our system of government. Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, elucidates.

Paul: As the author or co-sponsor of more than two dozen criminal justice reform bills, I have a long history of working with Democrats to correct injustice in our system, especially as it pertains to those accused of non-violent crimes such as drug possession.

The right to due process, enshrined in the Constitution, includes the right to a speedy trial by a jury of one’s peers. Those denied bail or unable to afford it can often be incarcerated for months awaiting trial, during which time they often lose their jobs, face eviction, and have their lives spiral downward — all before ever being convicted of a crime.

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In many of my speeches, I shared the heartbreaking story of Kalief Browder, a 16-year-old Black teenager who was accused of stealing a backpack and was incarcerated on Rikers Island for three years without trial. Two of those years were in solitary confinement. Kalief was abused by guards and gangs and attempted suicide in prison.

Finally, after Kalief was released, the trauma this teenager had experienced was too much for him to bear, and he ultimately took his own life. The injustice and tragedy of this case brought prominent progressives such as Kamala Harris together with civil libertarians like myself to call for reform, to insist that the Sixth Amendment guarantee of a speedy trial apply to everyone, regardless of the color of your skin or your socioeconomic status.

I would add today that the Sixth Amendment should apply regardless of your political persuasion. It is disappointing that progressives today will not apply the same equal justice under the law to the people accused of entering the U.S. Capitol illegally on Jan. 6, 2021.

During the months of arson, murder and other violence in 2020, Kamala Harris tweeted her support for the Minnesota Freedom Fund, which bailed out a woman charged with murder for stabbing her friend to death as well as a twice-convicted rapist charged with kidnapping and sexual assault. The protests of 2020 resulted in at least 25 deaths, thousands of injured police, and nearly $2 billion in damage to our cities.

Yet we have heard nothing from Vice President Harris on the Jan. 6 detainees held for nearly a year without trial, some of whom have not been charged with any acts of violence against persons. Indeed, the sentences for the charges many face would likely fall short of the months they have already been jailed without conviction of a crime. Many have been held for long periods in solitary confinement…

I condemned all violent acts on Jan. 6 and continue to do so.  But that does not mean we should destroy the lives of non-violent protesters by deliberately conflating them with the acts of others, denying them bail, and incarcerating them for nearly a year with no trial. That is not justice. Our laws demand that even those accused of the most horrific crimes of mass murder are guaranteed due process. To abandon those principles for political purposes is to abandon the very bedrock of American jurisprudence.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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MikeyParks
MikeyParks
4 months ago

They’ve already been denied due process for months and months in a flagrant shredding of the Constitution. I’ve never seen anything like it in my long life. Some heads should roll over this when it’s all over.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
4 months ago

Agreed & now I read where Dems want to pardon Non Violent prisoners from J6

hadenuf
hadenuf
4 months ago

IMO, some of the dems were involved in it. Don’t know, but that’s my opinion. Who is Ray Epps, and who were the other FBI that were involved? Why were the guard that President Trump requested denied? Isn’t Pelousy the one in charge of Capitol security? Why>

Greg K Syslo
Greg K Syslo
4 months ago

I keep reading about the arrests of violent criminals who are being released from custody, like all of the George Floyd rioters, or Christmas parade massacre guy, or the guy who burned down a pawn shop and killed the owner who was hiding inside, and then I compare those stories to the stories surrounding J6 protesters and can’t help but notice that there are very obvious differences. Then I see that clown that heads the FBI Christopher Wrey, or whatever his stupid name is in an interview stating he sees no difference in the way these people are being treated, and he was not even pressed on the issue!! Now, what is an average person supposed to think about that?

hadenuf
hadenuf
4 months ago
Reply to  Greg K Syslo

IMO, we really need a good investigation of the planning of this uprising, and I’d bet it was NOT done by Trump supporters.

Last edited 4 months ago by hadenuf
Frank Swart
Frank Swart
4 months ago

Thousands of illegal immigrants, including convicted felons, gang members, and drug dealers are set free to roam our streets every day, but hundreds without any previous arrests or convictions are held in a DC jail without their Constitutional rights in tack.

hadenuf
hadenuf
4 months ago

Yes, they do, and it’s long past time for those who would take their constitutional rights to get out of the way and let it happen. I hope these 1-6 prisoners sue the hell out of our gov’t, for usurping their rights. They didn’t even do this to people who burned, looted and murdered, during the summer. IMO, the difference is that those in on the planning of 1-6 were not in President Trump’s camp, but wanted to make it seem badly for him. I think Pelousy deserves an investigation.