Tobold's Blog
Friday, January 08, 2021
How do you punish a mob?

Among all the images from Washington this week, one struck me especially: The photo of a looter, carrying out a lectern from the Capitol, stopping to smile and wave for the camera. That allowed the police to quickly identify him. The photo shows that the man clearly isn't conscious of breaking the law and being in danger of the consequences. The tendency of Trump supporters to not wear face masks, even in a crowd, will be working against them. The FBI and DC police put out a call to the public to help identify people from the many available images.

So at one point the participants of the mob will be identified. And then the question is under which laws to prosecute them. One frequently mentioned option is the Trump monument executive order, a racist document targeted against Black Lives Matter protesters. It could be ironically turned around to mean up to 10 years in prison for Trump supporters, who probably cheered the law on when Trump signed it. But now that a DC policeman has died following the riots, there is an even harsher option: The District of Columbia has felony murder statutes, which means that any unlawful death happening during a felony is considered murder not only for the person causing that death, but also all of his co-conspirators.

Laws like that exist because while it is comparatively easy to identify the group of people participating in a crime, and easy to identify what crime was committed, it is notoriously hard to attribute a specific criminal action to a specific individual. Unless the crime itself wasn't filmed, each of the rioters could claim that it wasn't them who attacked that policeman, broke that door, or stole that souvenir. And there clearly were "riot tourists" in the Capitol, was simply walked in after the more violent ones had breached the building, took a free unguided tour of the Capitol and made selfies. Wearing a buffalo headdress and a spear, in one case. Some of the rioters actually complained to the press about getting maced.

So maybe the waving and smiling looter in the photo is right. American justice, freshly packed with conservative judges everywhere, isn't exactly known to be color blind. These 10 years in prison or felony murder charges maybe only apply to black or left wing rioters. The Trump rioters identified might end up with a $100 fine for a first time misdemeanor of disturbing the peace.

Well, there was plenty of rioting and looting over the last six months, so I guess precedent is available.
Problem is, looting the corner shop is not quite the same thing as looting the center of power of a state. States seriously dislike stuff which threatens their stability, the list of those not doing so being found in history books..... I expect the consequences to be way harsher.
When the state goes banana, ALL politicians get shafted, government and opposition, so it would not be surprising for them to band together to squash terrorist organizations like QAnon out of existence, just to save their collective asses.
Actually, the felony murder would also apply to the female looter who was shot. All that is required for felony murder is that the felony caused a death even if the direct cause of the death was interdiction efforts.
The truly sad part about all this is that nothing will fundamentally change.

Policitians will continue spewing lies about the 2020 election. Pundits like Tucker Carlson and Steven Crowder will continue stirring the pot and keep radicalizing people. Congress will move on and while both sides will speak on how horrified they were by the events, no solid bill will be put forth to place consequences on Politicians who spread falsehoods and propagate misinformation. Members of the Capitol Police will be fired, but nothing will be done about changing their training or workplace culture that lead to some willingly allowing protestors closer to the building and waving them by barricades. Trump supporters that were caught on camera will face charges on an individual level but nothing will be done to the vast right wing propaganda machine that radicalized them in the first place.

America has an extremism problem and nothing is going to be done about it.

Senate offices were occupied during the Kavanaugh hearing too - albeit less violently. Of course neither event constituted an attempted coup.
3 More Charged In Capitol Break-In, Including Men Identified In Viral Images
"All three men were charged with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol Grounds."

Looks like they are getting off easy. Well, unless one defines a spear as "a deadly or dangerous weapon or firearm". Otherwise the maximum penalty is just 1 year.
"the offense results in significant bodily injury as defined by section 2118(e)(3)" - back to your original statement. If the three men can be indirectly held accountable for the death of either the protestor or the Capitol cop, the 10 yrs may yet apply...
This is just the start, you apply some kind of charge to justify the arrest. You only need to apply one. The formal hearing in front of the judge is when more will be applied. Anything that can be applied will at this point to determine what kind of threat they were to society.

It won't be until formal charges are levied and trial dates set that the full extent will be applied. This has the potential to be something very big. Trump opened a door that should never be opened.

Post a Comment

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

  Powered by Blogger   Free Page Rank Tool