Joshua Black, a January 6 protester who entered the Capitol that day, has become the first to be acquitted of an obstruction charge since prosecutions began over a year ago, according to the Washington Examiner.
Black was convicted of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon on Capitol grounds; and entering and remaining on the floor of Congress and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building.
He will be sentenced on May 5 for the charges.
U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled that Black did not have the “corrupt” motivations required to make an obstruction charge stick. She also contended that he believed the certification of votes had already been completed, which would render obstruction moot.
Black says election was stolen
The obstruction charge could have gotten Black up to 20 years in jail, whereas the other charges he was convicted of carry six months to 10 years.
Black said in a YouTube video that he “wanted to get into the building so I could plead the blood of Jesus … That was my goal.”
He carried a knife into the building, reasoning that guns would not be allowed.
“Once we found out Pence turned on us and that they had stolen the election, like officially, the … crowd went crazy. I mean, … it became a mob. We crossed the gate, we got up,” Black said in a YouTube video taken by the Justice Department.
It is estimated that between 2,000 and 5,000 people entered the Capitol Building on January 6.
So far, 940 people have been charged with crimes, and 500 of them have been convicted, according to the Associated Press. Of those, 375 have been sentenced.
It has been a long and drawn-out process for many, and there’s no telling how many more wait to see if they will be charged.
Some January 6 defendants have spent over a year in jail awaiting trial, either because they have been held for more serious charges or because they violated pretrial conditions.
BLM protesters have different results
In contrast to the January 6 protesters, BLM protesters from 2020 have not been convicted or sentenced in large numbers. While the AP reported that 14,000 were arrested during the protests across the nation, only 120 were convicted or pleaded guilty and 70 have been sentenced to jail time.
It does seem like there’s a two-tier justice system happening in these instances, doesn’t it?