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    Justice Department to Challenge Length of Prison Sentences for Rhodes and Other Oath Keepers

    Justice Department to Challenge Length of Prison Sentences for Rhodes and Other Oath Keepers

    — The Justice Department is appealing the 18-year-prison sentence handed down for Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, as well as other far-right extremists' punishments that were shorter than what prosecutors had sought, according to court papers filed Wednesday.

    While Rhodes received a lengthy sentence for seditious conspiracy and other convictions, the 18-year term was below the recommended range under federal guidelines and less than the 25 years the Justice Department had asked for in one of the most serious cases to go to trial in the Capitol attack.

    Defendants routinely appeal their convictions and sentences, but it is more unusual for prosecutors to challenge the length of a prison term imposed by judges who have wide discretion when handing down punishments. Rhodes' was the longest sentence that has been handed down so far in more than 1,000 Capitol riot cases.

    Rhodes' attorney, James Lee Bright, called the government's decision to appeal “surprising.” At his sentencing hearing in May, a defiant Rhodes claimed to be a “political prisoner,” criticized prosecutors and the Biden administration and tried to play down his actions on Jan. 6.

    The Justice Department filed notices in court that they they intend to appeal the sentences of other Oath Keepers, including Florida chapter leader Kelly Meggs, who was convicted of seditious conspiracy alongside…

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