Richard Barnett. SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images
Richard Barnett. SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Richard “Bigo” Barnett, the individual from Arkansas who gained notoriety for placing his feet on former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk during the January 6 Capitol Hill riot, has been given a prison sentence of four and a half years. According to Breitbart, Barnett faced conviction on multiple charges, such as civil disorder and obstructing an official proceeding. The federal judge overseeing the trial decreed a 4.5-year imprisonment period, to be succeeded by three years of supervised release.

Amidst increasing crime rates in major U.S. cities, a concerning disparity emerges: violent criminals are often escaping with lenient sentences, allowing them to potentially re-offend, while non-violent participants of the January 6th protest are being aggressively pursued and handed disproportionately lengthy prison terms.

Prosecutors initially pursued a sentence exceeding seven years, which many found to be deeply troubling.

Barnett’s actions, which were captured in viral images, made him one of the recognizable figures from the riot, alongside “Qanon Shaman” Jacob Chansley.

Richard Barnett. SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images
Richard Barnett. SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

According to Breitbart:

“He was ultimately sentenced to four and a half years in prison and three years of supervised release,” noted Fox News.

Barnett’s feet on Pelosi’s desk became one of the most viral images from the January 6 riot, matched only by “Qanon Shaman” Jacob Chansley. He claimed during the trial he unintentionally entered the former house speaker’s office while searching for the bathroom and then posed for two news photographers that were already there. He finished by leaving a note that said, “Nancy, Bigo was here, you bitch.”

A 62-year-old retired firefighter from Arkansas, Barnett said that he regrets attending the “Stop the Steal” rally and that it brought shame upon his family.

“Two years of lost life. Misery for my family,” Barnett testified in January.

His attorneys claimed that the government targetted Barnett over the photo of him at Nancy Pelosi’s desk.

Over 1,000 people have now been charged in relation to the January 6 Capitol Hill riot and encompass a wide range of investigations that have proven costly.

The sentencing of Barnett to four and a half years in prison for his involvement in the January 6 Capitol Hill riot highlights concerns about the justice system’s disparity. While violent offenders often receive lenient sentences, non-violent participants of the protest face disproportionately harsh punishments. Barnett’s case, particularly the widely circulated image of him at Nancy Pelosi’s desk, has come to symbolize the event.

Despite Barnett’s assertions of entering the office unintentionally and expressing remorse for attending the rally, he received a significant prison term. His defense team argued that he was selectively targeted based on the photograph, raising doubts about the fairness of the prosecution. The investigation into the riot has been marked by a wide-reaching and expensive process, with over 1,000 individuals facing charges.

During a CNN Town Hall event, former President Donald Trump expressed his inclination to pardon a considerable number of January 6th protestors if reelected. This hypothetical scenario would likely encompass individuals like Barnett, who was not convicted of violent offenses and whose prison sentence has been viewed by many as unjust.

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