Florida Man Gets Longest Sentence for Capitol Riots

Of course, it would go to a Florida man. In this case, Robert Scott Palmer who runs a successful carpet cleaning business in Florida was sentenced to over 5 years for the role he played in the January 6 attacks on the Capitol. This is longer than the QAnon Shaman and other notable figures from the riots. Palmer was accused of assaulting an officer, impeding officers, and using a dangerous weapon to do both of those things.

What defense can you provide for these charges?

By and large, the defendants have employed an AFU defense. While you won’t find that term in any legal dictionary, nor will I even explain what the acronym means, it is the strategy of choice for those who are defending the Jan 6 rioters from federal charges right now.

Essentially, the defendants have claimed that early childhood trauma, untreated mental illness, and social media manipulation made them believe that the election had really been stolen by Joe Biden. Because they genuinely believed this, they were doing something good by stopping the election count. In this case, the defendant claimed that early childhood trauma made him do it. In the case of the QAnon Shaman, he openly admitted that he was “really messed up.” Yet despite that, in neither case did the court consider this during sentencing.

In the case of Palmer, the judge noted that despite his childhood trauma, he ran a successful business in Florida. So it was unlikely that the childhood trauma which he overcame to become a productive member of society also caused him to attempt a coup.

Palmer was accused of spraying a fire extinguisher at police officers and also throwing a wooden plank. Video shows Palmer spraying the fire extinguisher in the general direction of police and then throwing the fire extinguisher.

Analyzing defense strategies for cases like this

Any defense strategy that successfully prevents a client from being brought up on terrorism charges is a success in my book. If the group had been more organized that could have been possible. Ever since the passage of the Patriot Act in the months after September 11, the U.S. has more broadly defined terrorism to include acts of domestic terrorism. However, U.S. citizens are almost never charged under terrorism statutes even when they fit that definition. Even Timothy McVeigh and Ted Kaczynski were never charged under terrorism statutes. Neither have any of the far-left, far-right, or other domestic political groups who tend to use violence for their own purposes. In other words, American citizens are just never charged under terrorism statutes.

Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney

If you think the government is run by aliens, pedophiles, or lizards, you may need an attorney if you act on any of those beliefs. Call the West Palm Beach criminal attorneys at The Skier Law Firm, P.A. today to schedule an appointment and we can discuss strategy immediately.



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