Jan. 6 Convicts Freed Because of This

(DailyEmailNews.com) – In recent developments on the case regarding the events of January 6, 2021, at least two arrested individuals have been released from prison.

The change was prompted by the Supreme Court’s decision to examine the validity of the charge of “obstructing an official proceeding.” Federal prosecutors commonly use this accusation against those who participated in the Capitol breach.

Joseph Fischer, one of the defendants from January 6, has challenged how prosecutors interpret the charge as being too broad. This has led to numerous cases, including charges against former President Donald Trump.

The Supreme Court is expected to hear this case in the spring and decide by the end of June. Meanwhile, two defendants have already been released from prison as they await the court’s decision. Others hope for similar outcomes.

Thomas Adams Jr., one of the released defendants, had been sentenced to 14 months in prison and three years of supervised probation. He has been in custody since August 2023. U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta decided to release him, believing that the Supreme Court might agree with Fischer’s argument, potentially overturning Adams’ conviction.

Alexander Sheppard also secured early release due to the Supreme Court’s review of the Fischer case. Convicted on the same charge as Adams and additional misdemeanors, Sheppard had been serving a 19-month sentence since November.

U.S. District Judge John D. Bates sided with Sheppard’s argument. He agreed that the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the Fischer case raised substantial questions about the validity of his conviction.

The Fischer case highlights the broad application of the obstruction charge to those who participated in the Capitol events. Fischer, a former police officer, entered the Capitol, though not immediately during the riot. He spent about four minutes inside, handed handcuffs to an officer, and was pepper-sprayed in a crowd of protesters.

Fischer faces several charges, including obstruction under Title 18 Section 1512, which relates to tampering with witnesses, victims, or information, including document destruction in official proceedings. Conviction under this statute can lead to a fine and up to 20 years in prison.