Several members of the Proud Boys have already been sentenced to more than a decade behind bars, but the Biden administration is apparently not satisfied with that outcome — as they have appealed the sentencing, calling for even more prison time for the January 6 defendants.
Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors filed a notice of appeal on Monday for the sentencing of Proud Boys members Zachary Rehl, Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs and Dominic Pezzola. They are also appealing the sentencing of former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio — who wasn’t even in Washington, D.C., at the time of the January 6 Capitol protests.
Prosecutors wanted a 33-year sentence for Tarrio, a 30-year sentence for Rehl, a 27-year sentence for Nordean, a 33-year sentence for Biggs, and a 20-year sentence for Pezzola. District Judge Tim Kelly, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, gave Tarrio a 22-year sentence, Rehl a 15-year sentence, Nordean an 18-year sentence, Biggs a 17-year sentence and Pezzola a 10-year sentence.
“They unleashed a force on the Capitol that was calculated to exert their political will on elected officials by force and to undo the results of a democratic election,” DOJ prosecutors previously stated in court filings about the Proud Boys members. “The foot soldiers of the right aimed to keep their leader in power. They failed. They are not heroes; they are criminals.”
In a statement, Biggs and Rehl’s defense attorney Norm Pattis declared that the DOJ’s appeal was “ridiculous.”
“Merrick Garland needs a new hobby horse,” Pattis added.
The defense attorney previously spoke out about the excessive sentencing back in August.
“The defendants are not terrorists,” Pattis wrote in a statement at the time. “Whatever excesses of zeal they demonstrated on January 6, 2021, and no matter how grave the potential interference with the orderly transfer of power due to the events of that day, a decade or more behind bars is an excessive punishment.”
Attorney Nicholas Smith, who represented Nordean, released a statement in response to the news — writing that his client “is encouraged by the government’s agreement that errors led to the judgment and sentence in his case.”
The news was so shocking that even some leftists were concerned about the government’s attempt to excessively punish its opponents.
In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Reason Magazine associate editor Billy Binion declared the news “bonkers.”
“Uh, this is bonkers. Enrique Tarrio was offered a plea between 9-11 years in prison. He instead went to trial & got 22 years,” he wrote, noting that this sentence is longer than many felons get for heinous crimes like murder.
“And now the gov’t is appealing—because that wasn’t LONG enough? The Proud Boys are gross. This still isn’t justice,” Binion added.
Uh, this is bonkers. Enrique Tarrio was offered a plea between 9-11 years in prison. He instead went to trial & got 22 years, more than some get for rape & murder. And now the gov't is appealing—because that wasn't LONG enough?
The Proud Boys are gross. This still isn't justice. https://t.co/zYdCIEt1et
— Billy Binion (@billybinion) October 17, 2023