Sunday, April 25, 2021

Political Prisoners are held without Bail

William Saletan writes in Slate:
Three months after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, the Republican Party still won’t fully renounce it. In Congress, Republicans are opposing an investigation of the attack unless other incidents are included.
And I don't see any Democrats denouncing this:
Demonstrators chanting "Black Lives Matter" stormed the Oklahoma Capitol on Wednesday, forcing the state House of Representatives into lockdown, in order to protest several Republican-backed bills, including one that provides legal protections to motorists fleeing riots.
Many Jan. 6 protesters have been held without bail:
[Federal judge] Sullivan, a Clinton appointee, cited former President Donald Trump’s continued false claims about the November presidential election as one reason why he denied Whitton’s request for bond.

“As was true in (co-defendant Jeffrey) Sabol’s case, such comments reflect the continued threat posed by individuals like Mr. Whitton, who has demonstrated that he is willing and able to engage in extreme and terrifying levels of violence against law enforcement with a chilling disregard for the rule of law and the lives of law enforcement, seemingly based on mistaken beliefs about the illegitimacy of the current administration,” the judge wrote.

Magistrate Judge Regina Cannon granted bond for Whitton a day after his April 1 arrest, but federal prosecutors appealed the decision, keeping Whitton locked up in the federal jail in Lovejoy. At a hearing last week, his defense attorney said he had no prior criminal history and presented dozens of letters and affidavits signed by Whitton’s friends and relatives attesting to Whitton’s “strong moral code.”

These protesters probably deserve some punishment, but holding them without bail appears to be purely political. Even the official justification relies on quoting an opinion of the ex-President.

Just imagine if you were investigating a human rights abuse in another country. You found a political protester in jail, and the judge's explanation was that he must be jailed without trial because the ex-head-of-state claimed that an election was stolen.

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