(CNN) Prosecutors on Friday asked a federal judge to sentence Stuart Rhodes, the founder of the far-right party, to 25 years in prison.
A Washington, D.C., jury in November indicted Rhodes of arson conspiracy for his role in the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol. Since the riots, prosecutors have concluded more than a dozen convictions for such individuals associated with far-right groups they say planned to stop the peaceful transfer of presidential power from then-president, Donald Trump, to Joe Biden.
The Justice Department request provides insight — for the first time in more than a decade — into how prosecutors believe a sedition conspiracy conviction should be punished.
The motion seeks individual penalties for nine oath-keepers and associates who have been convicted by a jury – six of whom were found guilty of conspiracy to sedition. The lighter sentence prosecutors sought among the group was 10 years in prison for divisional warden David Morchill.
Although the filing reflects the plaintiffs’ request, Judge Amit Mehta will ultimately decide how long each defendant will serve. Mehta can pass judgment beyond the prosecution’s request or decide to judge them less than the maximum.
During the trial, which lasted more than seven weeks, prosecutors argued that the riot was more than a political protest spiraling out of control, it was a violent attack on American democracy. To advance their case, prosecutors presented the jury with hundreds of letters, audio recordings and video clips of the defendants’ groundbreaking rhetoric after Biden’s 2020 presidential victory and their actions as they moved on the Capitol floor during the riot.
Defense attorneys responded to these arguments by telling the jury that the defendants’ incendiary tapes were nothing more than a “locker room conversation” and argued that the militia lacked a unified plan.
This story has been updated with additional details.
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