WASHINGTON — As prosecutors close in on charging 500 people with joining the Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol, just how much prison time — or how little — alleged rioters are facing is starting to become clear. Defendants who plead guilty to some of the most serious crimes, like assaulting police or carrying a weapon into the Capitol, are facing an average baseline sentence between three to four years behind bars; that could go up depending on the level of violence or down if the person cooperates, among other factors. Defendants hit with a nonviolent felony, such as obstructing Congress, are looking at an average baseline of around a year and a half. And federal law caps sentences for misdemeanors such as disorderly conduct and protesting in the Capitol between six months and a year, which means first-time offenders who cut a deal could argue for no prison time at all. These ranges are detailed in plea deals and other court filings in a handful of cases. The vast majority of Jan. 6 defendants are charged individually, but the judges handling the more than 465 (and counting) cases brought in the federal district court in Washington, DC, will… Read full this story
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