Former Proud Boys Leader Gets 22-Year Prison Term

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Enrique Tarrio was sentenced Tuesday to the heaviest sentence handed down for the attack on the headquarters of the US Congress. For the press, the judge’s decision reflects “the central role” played by the Proud Boys in the assault of January 6, 2021.

Enrique Tarrio was not at the Capitol that day” but that did not prevent American justice from imposing a 22-year prison sentence on him “for terrorism,” summarizes Mother Jones. The former leader of the American far-right group Proud Boys was sentenced on Tuesday September 5 to the heaviest verdict handed down so far for the assault on the seat of the American Congress. Before him, the most significant sentence had been administered to Stewart Rhodes, founder of the far-right militia Oath Keepers.

“Dressed in the orange prison jumpsuit,” Tarrio […] “briefly lowered his head when the judge pronounced the sentence, while his mother let out a sob in the gallery behind him,” says the Washington Post.

The defense lawyers had tried to argue that their client had no control over the events due to his absence from Washington on January 6, 2021. Indeed, unlike the four other members of the Proud Boys, convicted in May , and who were physically present during the assault, the ex-leader of the far-right group was in Baltimore “after having been ejected from the capital a few days earlier by a local judge for another criminal case”, recalls the New York Times.

This court decision ordering him to leave the federal capital was part of the conditions of his release after two days of detention for having burned a “Black Lives Matter” banner belonging to a church in Washington mainly attended by African-Americans during a demonstration which degenerated in December.

A sentence that reflects the “central role” of the Proud Boys
But “the specific situation” of Tarrio did not convince Judge Kelly, notes the American daily. Little sensitive to the remorse expressed at the bar by the accused, the magistrate considered that he was “the ultimate leader of the conspiracy”.

He “inflicted this severe punishment on Tarrio because of the leadership role he played as well as the large number of members of the Proud Boys who led the mob to the Capitol,” specifies the Wall Street Journal.

The judge’s decision reflects “the central role” played by the far-right group in the January 6 assault, Politico concludes. “The physical absence of Tarrio in no way mitigates the seriousness of his actions since he was more of a general than a soldier,” the prosecutors argued in their written argument in support of their requisitions.

“Tarrio’s conviction is part of a national awakening that we must continue to explore if we ever want to regain a foothold in democracy,” said the Miami Herald in an editorial. “The attempt to overthrow our government must be punishable by heavy sanctions and that is what happened on Tuesday. Tarrio deserves every year of prison time that has been imposed on him,” concludes the Florida daily.

This article is originally published on courrierinternational.com

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