Proud Boys leader Joe Biggs sentenced to 17 years in January 6 case

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A leader of the Proud Boys who led the far-right organization’s infamous march to the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, has been sentenced to 17 years in prison – among the longest sentences handed down yet for a convicted rioter.

Joe Biggs was convicted by a Washington, DC jury of several charges including seditious conspiracy for attempting to forcibly prevent the peaceful transfer of power from then-President Donald Trump to Joe Biden after the 2020 election.

A second member of the Proud Boys, former Marine Zachary Rehl, the president of his local Philadelphia chapter of the organization, was later sentenced to 15 years.

“Our Constitution and laws give you so many important rights that Americans have fought and died for and that you yourself put on a uniform to defend,” District Judge Timothy Kelly said in handing down the sentence to Biggs. “People around the world would give anything for these rights.”

But January 6, 2021, Kelly said, “broke our tradition of the peaceful transferring of power” in the United States.

“The nature of the constitutional moment we were in that day is something that is so sensitive that it deserves a significant sentence,” he said.

Prosecutors initially asked Kelly to sentence Biggs to 33 years in prison – nearly double the longest sentence a defendant has received related to the January 6, 2021 attack – arguing that Biggs and his codefendants “intentionally positioned themselves at the vanguard of political violence in this country” for years and on January 6, 2021 sought to “change the course of American history.”

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