Who is Paul Hodgkins? Capitol rioter gets 8 months in jail, Internet says 'not enough'

Prosecutors asked for an 18-month sentence for Paul Hodgkins, arguing that he unlawfully entered the Capitol grounds and also the Senate chamber


                            Who is Paul Hodgkins? Capitol rioter gets 8 months in jail, Internet says 'not enough'
Paul Hodgkins pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of an official proceeding (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

A Florida man, Paul Hodgkins, was sentenced to eight months in prison followed by 24 months of supervised release on Monday, July 19, in the first felony sentencing in connection with the Capitol riots. He became the first felon to be sentenced for his role in the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol. Hodgkins, 38, invaded the Senate chamber holding a Trump flag and wearing a Trump t-shirt on January 6.

Hodgkins pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of an official proceeding. However, four other charges on Hodgkins were dismissed as part of the plea deal. Hodgkins is also ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution for a portion of the damage to the building during the riot.

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Prosecutors asked for an 18-month sentence for Hodgkins, arguing that he unlawfully entered the Capitol grounds, illegally entered the Capitol building and entered into the Senate chamber. Hodgkins’ lawyer requested a probationary sentence, stating that the court should "bring the country together by showing leniency and forgiveness". "The Court has a chance to emulate Lincoln. We have the chance to be as Lincoln had hoped, to exercise grace and charity, and to restore healing for those who seek forgiveness. Alternatively, we can follow the mistakes of our past: to be harsh, seek vengeance, retribution, and revenge, and continue to watch the nation go down its present regrettable path," Hodgkins' attorney Patrick Leduc wrote. 

Hodgkins is the third defendant sentenced in relation to the Capitol attack. Earlier, two defendants were sentenced on misdemeanor charges. According to reports, more than 500 people are arrested in connection with the January 6 Capitol attack, and hundreds of more arrests are still in the works. Assistant US Attorney Mona Sedky spoke of Hodgkins' sentencing and said that “January 6 was an act of domestic terrorism” and Hodgkins was flouting his "disrespect for the law". "He willingly joined the fray, and he steadfastly remained a part of it,” Sedky said. Sedky also noted that a significant sentence would send a “loud and clear message” to people thinking of a “sequel to the January 6 attack". 

During the sentencing, Hodgkins told the judge he was “truly remorseful” for his actions. "The storming of the US Capitol building is not something I had any idea would happen," he said. He further noted that he does “realize that my involvement did still contribute to the greater problem that took place”.

'Black Americans have received 11 years for cannabis possession'

As soon as the news broke out, people stormed Twitter expressing their 'anger' over how the sentencing was 'not enough'. One tweet read, "BREAKING: White Insurrectionist Paul Hodgkins has been sentenced to 8 months in prison, 2 years probation and $100 fine for attempting to overthrow the US Government. Black Americans have received 11 years for cannabis possession. #CapitolRiots #Insurrection." Another user commented, "Paul Hodgkins will be permitted to self surrender to federal prison at later date. He's released until then And he'll have to chip in $2,000 to offset his share of the $1.4 million+ in property damage at US Capitol (Hodgkins was *not* accused of any damage)." One user wrote, "Paul Hodgkins only got an 8 month prison sentence for trying to overthrow the government? Sounds about white." Another tweeted, "Only 8 months? I'm so disappointed. People get a lot more time for infractions that are minor compared to insurrection. Paul Hodgkins is a disgrace. My only hope is that he sees that Trump wasn't and will never be there for him." Another said, "The federal judges need to follow prosecution guidelines. This is not enough time! Florida man Paul Hodgkins receives 8 months in prison, first Jan. 6 defendant sentenced on a felony charge. #LockThemAllUp & #ThrowAwayTheKey."



 



 



 



 



 

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