Confirming the complaints aired by the ‘Justice for J6’ rally organizers on September 18 in Washington, DC, a federal judge held the District of Columbia’s corrections director and jail warden in contempt of court Wednesday and asked the Justice Department to investigate whether inmates’ civil rights are being abused.
However, the judge said that, in his view, the defendants’ rights were clearly being violated. January 6 defendants are federal inmates, but many are housed in the local DC jail.
A federal law known as the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA — allows a review of conditions of jails, prisons, and other government-run facilities to identify if there is a systemic pattern of abuse or civil rights violations.
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth stated that, “It’s clear to me the civil rights of the defendant were violated by the D.C. Department of Corrections,” adding, “I don’t know if it’s because he’s a January 6 defendant or not.”
According to NPR:
The judge ordered Quincy Booth, the director of the city’s Department of Corrections, and Wanda Patten, the warden of the DC Jail, to be held in contempt of court. While he did not impose any sanctions or penalties the judge said he was referring the matter to the Justice Department to investigate whether the civil rights of the inmates in the jail are being violated.
The move is likely to add steam to claims by activists and supporters of former President Donald Trump who have argued that defendants are being treated unfairly while they’re locked up. The Associated Press reviewed hundreds of court and jail records for the Capitol riot defendants to uncover how many were being detained and found roughly 70 held in federal custody awaiting trial or sentencing hearings. At least 30 are jailed in Washington. The rest are locked up in facilities across the country.
As reported earlier by ADN, civil rights activists at the Sept. 18 highlighted the disturbing treatment of January 6 riot suspects still being held, some without charges, and even in solitary confinement. ADN wrote then that: “‘Justice for Jan 6’ Detainees Rally Makes Strong Case” that their civil rights are being deliberately violated and they are receiving far harsher treatment than far left defendants accused of similar crimes.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has set standards for judges to apply in deciding whether to jail a Capitol riot defendant. A three-judge panel of the appeals court ruled in March that rioters accused of assaulting officers, breaking through windows, doors and barricades, or playing leadership roles in the attack were in “a different category of dangerousness” than those who merely cheered on the violence or entered the building after it was breached. ADN