Richard ‘Bigo’ Barnett, a participant in the Jan. 6 protest and breach of the Capitol, famously photographed with his feet up on a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, has rejected an outrageous plea agreement offered by the Department of Justice.
The standard prison sentence for involuntary manslaughter is 10-16 months. Biden and Pelosi’s Justice Department recommended that Barnett, 61, accept a 70-87 month prison sentence.
Barnett’s attorney, Joseph McBride, rejected the plea offer, calling it “ridiculous,” noting that Barnett will proceed to trial in the fall.
“The very general question is: ‘Does the punishment fit the crime?’ And the answer is a resounding, ‘Hell no.’” McBride told The Epoch Times.
“There is no standard of reasonableness under which 70 or 87 months of incarceration for a 61-year-old man with no criminal record can ever amount to justice.”
“In this situation, it is egregious. It is disgusting. It is a criminalization of the First Amendment’s right to participate in political speech. While it was not a perfect day, he certainly should not spend years of his life—basically the entire decade of his 60s—behind bars. It’s ridiculous.”
Barnett is charged with entering into the conference area of the Speaker’s office on Jan. 6, 2021, at about 2:50 p.m. He put his feet up on a desk, posed for photographs, then left at 2:56 p.m.
When in the office, Barnett picked up an empty envelope addressed to Rep. Billy Long (R-MO), then carried it out with him because a cut on his finger dripped blood on the envelope. That act led to a theft charge being added to violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds charges.
Federal authorities also charged Barnett with possession of a dangerous weapon, which references his aluminum walking stick with a built-in flashlight. The ZAP brand Hike ‘N Stike walking stick had a stun-gun-type feature, but it was disabled and had no batteries on Jan. 6.
“It’s clearly not working,” said McBride. “So for them to use this as an excuse to give him an exorbitant amount of time, it’s ridiculous. They’re just using it as a pretext to hit him over the head with a hammer because of the fame that came along with his picture.”
The Epoch Times report noted that the disproportionate sentencing of nonviolent Jan. 6, 2021 protestors continues to be in the spotlight, particularly after the Feb. 25 suicide of Matthew L. Perna, 37, of Sharon, Pennsylvania.
Perna hung himself in his garage after learning that the Department of Justice would seek sentencing enhancers that could have put him in prison for 41-51 months.
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