A federal judge has said he plans to hold off handing out so-called “split sentences and suspended sentences” in January 6 misdemeanor cases until a higher court rules on the matter.
US District Judge Christopher Cooper raised the issue early in the sentencing hearing Bryan Wayne Ivey On Wednesday. Ivey pleaded guilty in June to charges of parading, demonstrating or picketing a Capitol, an offense that carries a possible sentence of up to six months in prison.
The public prosecutor had requested a prison sentence of 14 days and three years probation. Ivey only asked for a suspended sentence.
After Ivey told the judge that his mental health issues had contributed to his offense, Judge issued Cooper a sentence consisting of three years probation and 60 days of house arrest.
“Until there is relevant precedent on the subject, or perhaps a case where I feel I cannot issue a clear sentence that will serve all sentencing purposes, I have refrained from issuing split sentences,” he said Cooper, A Barack Obama Appointment said at the hearing.
The judge noted that his peers in court failed to reach a consensus on whether federal criminal law allows such punishments for petty crimes as the parade and picket charges to which dozens of January 6 defendants have already pleaded guilty. Defense attorneys have taken the position that separate sentences are not permissible, while prosecutors have taken the opposite position.
The problem is growing in the Jan. 6 cases, and judges are divided. Chief Justice Royce Lamberta Ronald Reagan Appointment issued a written statement Earlier this month judges concluded that split sentences are permissible Randolph Mossone appointed by Obama I Agree.
Indeed, judge Colleen Kollar-Kotellya bill clinton officer, has certainly that the law does not allow partial sentences, and judges Dabney Fredericka donald trump Appointment said a minor offense penalty could be either jail or probation, but not both. judge Thomas Hoganalso a Reagan appointee called that he does not consider such sentences to be permissible.
“I have read the Articles of Incorporation and related Articles of Incorporation and both sides’ briefing on the matter,” Cooper said Wednesday. “My ultimate takeaway is that the law is poorly written.”
Cooper commended the judges’ thorough analysis of the law and said there were plausible arguments on both sides of the dispute. However, he said that at this point he “must give the tie to the defendant and not impose a penalty where there is a possibility that the penalty would be unlawful or against the law.”
Later in the hearing, Cooper clarified that he had not concluded that the law prohibited him from serving a split sentence, but that he was awaiting more clarity.
“Due to the ambiguity and openness of the question, I choose not to use the split sentence,” he said.
Ivey was one of the first in the crowd donald trump Supporters who broke into the Capitol on January 6th. He climbed through a broken window and spent about 35 minutes inside, and surveillance video shows him waving other rioters into the building.
Ivey’s attorney, Robert David Bakersaid his client was delusional when he went to Washington on January 6 and was so traumatized by his experience in the Capitol that he sought psychiatric treatment two days after returning from Washington.
“Certain media outlets have been bombarding the American public with some of these ideas that the election was stolen,” Baker said. “Some politicians continue to promote this idea, even though we all know it’s not true.”
Baker also detailed the high personal price Ivey has paid since Jan. 6, including his community’s “ridicule” and public shaming for his actions, as well as the breakup of his marriage.
Ivey himself told Cooper that he was suffering from significant mental health issues at the time.
“I was in a delusional state walking into the Capitol,” Ivey said. “I didn’t know I was sick. I didn’t know anything was wrong with me… I really believed there was a global secret state planning to kill off most of the human population and take over the world.”
At Wednesday’s hearing, prosecutors worried that Ivey could potentially revert to the dangerous mental state that brought him to the Capitol and prompted him to join the rioting mob of Trump supporters who overran police and flooded the building , temporarily stopping certification by Congress Joe BidenVictory in the 2020 presidential election.
“[Ivey’s] Actions that day were the result of deeply delusional thinking,” said the Assistant US Attorney Leslie Goemaat argued. “[There is] Worry that he may fall prey to such delusional thinking patterns again, which could lead to this type of behavior again.”
However, Goemaat conceded that Ivey pleaded guilty early and was undergoing mental health treatment and that formulating the correct sentence was a “difficult balance”.
After the sentencing hearing, Cooper told Ivey he hoped he could move on and live a productive life.
“I want to encourage you to get this over with as best you can,” Cooper said. “I know you’re facing some steep obstacles right now, but keep your head down and keep getting treated. Keep your job, keep supporting your family, and somehow come out better than you came in.
[Images via FBI court filing.]
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