Paul Hodgkins Bio/Wiki
In a highly watched case that could affect how hundreds of other rioters charged with the same felony are treated, a man named Paul Hodgkins who pleaded guilty to breaching the Senate chamber during the US Capitol insurgency was sentenced Monday to eight months in jail.
Paul Hodgkins, a Floridian, has been sentenced as the first Capitol rioter convicted of a felony.
Last month, he pleaded guilty to disrupting congressional proceedings, specifically the electoral vote counting, which he assisted in delaying on January 6.
He sat in the Senate chamber for about 15 minutes, wearing a Donald Trump shirt and waving a Trump flag.
He is 38 years old.
Sentenced 8 Months In Prison Full Details
The penalty is far less than the Justice Department’s request for a 1.5-year prison sentence. Prosecutors claimed that 1.5 years would dissuade future political violence and send a clear message to “those who may be contemplating a second act” after January 6 at a hearing on Monday.
District Judge Randolph Moss disagreed with that advice.
He said Hodgkins was complicit in a serious act of anti-democratic behavior but deserved mercy because he pleaded guilty “exceptionally early,” wasn’t involved in any violence, and gave a “sincere” apology.
According to the CNN, Moss said, “Hodgkins was staking a claim on the floor of the United States Senate, not with the American flag but with a flag declaring his loyalty to a single individual over the entire nation,”
Hodgkins is the third defendant to be sentenced in connection with the attack on the Capitol. Two defendants had already been sentenced on misdemeanor charges.
According to estimates, more than 500 people have been arrested in connection with the Capitol attack on January 6, and hundreds more are being sought. The judge stated that the rioters’ damage “will last for several decades in this country.”
He claims that it will make it more difficult for the government to promote democracy overseas and to persuade young Americans that democracy is the nation’s foundation.