A retired New York City police officer was sentenced last week to a record-setting 10 years in prison for attacking the U.S. Capitol and using a metal flagpole to assault a police officer trying to hold off a mob of Donald Trump supporters. Thomas Webster’s prison sentence is the longest so far among roughly 250 people who punished for their conduct during the riot on Jan. 6, 2021.
Class discussion: Webster’s lawyer argued that the Capitol mob was "guided by unscrupulous politicians" and that Webster deserved leniency because of his police service. Do you think Webster’s history as a police officer should have reduced or increased his penalty for the attack? Why? Is it reasonable for Jan. 6 defendants to argue that they were misled by political leaders? Why or why not?
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