How the Crime of Seditious Conspiracy Is Different From Insurrection and Treason

At the center of the case against Stewart Rhodes, was Oath Keepers leader Joe. The sentence was handed down on Thursday. The January 6 attack on the Capitol carried the longest prison sentence ever, on an unusual and serious charge: conspiracy to treason.

Although people have sometimes colloquially used the terms mutiny, sedition, domestic terrorism and treason interchangeably when discussing the events of January 6, 2021, sedition is legally defined in subtle but significant ways. Different from other terms. Here’s a closer look.

It is essentially incitement to violent action against the government – any kind of communication or activity aimed at preventing the people from exercising their authority to overthrow the state by force or to enforce the law.

It is a federal crime that is found in Section 2384 of title 18 of the United States Code. The law makes it illegal for two or more persons to overthrow the federal government by force, to wage war against it, to unlawfully seize federal property, or to “prevent, obstruct, or delay the execution of any law by force.” makes it a crime to actively conspire to commit. United States.” A conviction can carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years.

In the Oath Keepers case, prosecutors used text messages, videos and other evidence to argue that Mr. Rhodes and other militia members agreed to take steps to prevent Congress from certifying Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s Electoral College win. It was an important step. In a constitutional system for general transfer of power. Mr. Rhodes was sentenced to 18 years in prison, and one of his top deputies was sentenced to 12 years.

While they clearly overlap, “treason” focuses more on conspiracy and incitement, while “rebellion” is generally understood to mean actual violent acts of rebellion to overthrow the government.

That said, the federal law against sedition, Section 2383Blurs that line a bit. It states that “whosoever incites, abets, aids or abets, or aids or abets, any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof; gives” he is guilty of this crime. It is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and disqualification from holding federal office.

Charges of sedition are considered difficult to prove and are extremely rare. While many have called the events of January 6 a “riot,” the Justice Department has not charged any of the rioters with the crime. In addition to a handful of seditious conspiracy charges against members of two militias, the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys, prosecutors have charged various rioters with crimes such as assaulting police officers, obstructing the official business of Congress and trespassing.

Domestic terrorism is not a single crime.But it still has legal definitions and consequences. In this case, the judge increased Mr. Rhodes’ sentence, ruling that it was appropriate for the context of his crimes. Definition Terrorism: Crimes of violence intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population or government policy.

The law defining terrorism distinguishes between “international” terrorism, which must have a foreign or international nexus, and “domestic” terrorism, which occurs primarily on US soil. Only “Acts of terrorism transcend national boundaries.“There are federal crimes.

For their domestic equivalents, law enforcement officials deal with crimes that don’t have “terrorism” on the label, rather than using other laws — such as plotting a coup. But in the sentencing phase, convictions for crimes that also qualify as terrorism lead to longer prison terms.

According to US law, the events of January 6 did not constitute treason because they did not involve acts that betrayed the United States on behalf of a hostile power.

Treason is a unique crime in the United States because it is only defined in the Constitution, and the founders put it succinctly: “Treason against the United States, only for waging war against them, or consorting with their enemies.” shall include, giving them relief and comfort.” In a federal statute, Section 2381Congress echoed this definition and imposed a sentence of between five years imprisonment and death.

Treason charges are rare, but one instance came in 2006 when prosecutors obtained a treason indictment. Adam GoodhanA California-born al-Qaeda propagandist who made video calls for attacks on Americans. He was killed in a 2015 drone strike and therefore never faced trial.

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