Majority of people charged for US Capitol riots aren't in jail, new analysis reveals

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: May 29, 2021, 02:06 PM(IST)

US Capitol Hill riots Photograph:( Reuters )

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Experts also fear that a majority of those involved in rioting and violence may not serve any prison time at all, even if they plead guilty

A new analysis claims that 70 per cent of those charged for inciting the US Capitol riots have been released as they wait for trial. The analysis by The Guardian found that the pre-trial rate among the ones charged with inciting the insurrection was extremely high when compared to average nationwide figures.

In the US, 25 per cent of defendants are released before their trial, the analysis claims.

The report also alleges that members of the groups known as Proud and Oath Keepers, who are facing the most serious charges for planning violence have been released before trial. Most defendants from January 6 riots are facing low-level charges, experts believe. But the report adds how racial bias may be factoring in.

Experts also fear that a majority of those involved in rioting and violence may not serve any prison time at all, even if they plead guilty.

According to the US attorney’s office for the District of Columbia, the alleged rioters are facing charges different from what most people experience in the federal system. 

Also read: Senate Republicans block bill on probe of deadly Capitol riot

By mid-May, 440 people were arrested in charges related to the Capitol rioting, as per data from the US Justice Department. 125 have also been charged of assaulting law enforcement. The number of alleged Capitol rioters in custody and those who have been released will continue to fluctuate over the course of the investigation.

But The Guardian’s analysis clearly states that a majority of alleged rioters are not facing detention before trial. Court records state that many have been asked to follow release conditions like GPS monitoring, curfews, home detention and limited access to social media.

Most of the people are facing relatively low-level charges like entering a restricted building or disorderly conduit within a restricted building. An analysis done by The Washington Post earlier showed that 44 per cent of those charged with the Capitol riots were only facing misdemeanour charges.

Also read: National Guard troops exit US Capitol months after January 6 attack

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