A Judge Said It Was

WASHINGTON A Texas resident who posted on social networking Parler on January 6th urging Trump supporters to search for Democrats and tech executives was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment on Thursday.
Smocks and the prosecution had requested a higher sentence from Tanya Chutkan, US District Judge. Smocks was in custody since mid-January and requested a sentence equivalent to the nine months he had already served. Although the government did not support a particular sentence, it supported a sentence at the lower end of the 8-14-month range.

Smocks was charged with not participating in the riots when he traveled to Washington Jan. 6. Instead, he was charged and eventually pleaded guilty to posting online messages throughout the day that encouraged violence against anyone who did not support Trump. He said that Trump's supporters should get out their guns and go hunting for tech company executives and RINOS (a term that means Republicans In Name Only).

Chutkan, who imposed harsher sentences than the government had argued for in several Jan. 6 cases said that Smocks failed to show genuine regret for his actions. He will be credited for the time that he has already been in jail.

Smocks, a Black man, tried to convince Chutkan that his racism was the root of his charges but it didn't work. Smocks stated to Chutkan that he felt he was treated harsher than Trump supporters charged with misdemeanor offenses for entering the Capitol. Smocks claimed that he was the only Black person in Jan. 6's case to face pretrial confinement. However, Chutkan pointed out that this wasnt true, even though the majority of those who attacked the Capitol were White. On Wednesday, she presided over a hearing to hear from Mark Ponder, a Black man who was charged with assaulting the police at the Capitol and who was also ordered by Chutkan to remain behind bars.

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Smocks defended himself by comparing himself with people who had protested for racial equality in the 20th century. He also invoked Dr. Martin Luther King, a civil rights icon. Chutkan, a Black woman, stated that she found the comparison offensive.

Chutkan stated that people died fighting for civil liberties, and were gassed, beaten, and tortured physically and mentally. It is quite brave to think that you can hold yourself up in this fight as a soldier.

Smocks is 19th person to be sentenced under the Jan. 6 charges. The Chutkans verdict was the most severe sentence that a judge has ever imposed in connection to these cases.

Smocks posted a long message on Parler on Jan. 6 in support Trump. It included a promise to return to Washington on the eve President Joe Bidens inauguration. Many of us will be returning on January 19, 2021 with Our weapons in support to Our nations resolve. This will not be forgotten by the world! Thank you!

He posted another message the evening after the riots in which he cited Trump's earlier statement that supporters should fight like hell. Get your weapons ready and go hunting. Let's take these cowards down as the traitors that they are. This includes RINOS, Dems and Tech Execs. Now, we have the green light. We now have the green light.

Smocks pleaded guilty to making threats in September. This felony crime carried a maximum of five years imprisonment. The government estimated that Smocks would receive a range of sentencing depending on his criminal history. He had 18 previous convictions, most of them fraud-related. However, the prosecutor pointed out that the majority of these incidents occurred over 20 years ago. Smocks also falsely claimed to have been a veteran. However, there was no evidence that he had served in any military branch.

John Machado, Smocks' lawyer suggested that there might be evidence of clients military service in a document relating to one of Smocks previous criminal cases. However, he did not have a copy to show Smocks judge. The judge denied that she could accept such representations without the actual document.

Machado informed Chutkan that Smocks acknowledged that his threats were inappropriate but that it wasn't as serious as if Smocks had directed them at specific individuals by name. Chutkan noted that he had mentioned members of Congress as well as tech executives. Machado raised the issue, saying that it would be different if posts named individuals. Chutkan responded by suggesting that he could ask members of Congress who were hiding under desks during the riots.

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