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国会山暴徒或将面临最高20年监禁

国会山暴徒或将面临最高20年监禁

Jonathan Vanian 2021年01月08日
最终会由检察官根据证据决定,将对这些暴徒采取何种措施。

唐纳德•特朗普的支持者们可能会因为发动暴乱、颠覆美国总统大选程序而受到严厉的惩罚。

1月7日,执法人员表示,在暴乱分子于前一天非法闯入国会大厦、攻击国会官员,并盗走物品(包括政府的笔记本电脑)后,有60多人被捕。另外,CBS新闻(CBS News)报道,被盗的笔记本电脑中可能包含“敏感的国家安全信息”。

哥伦比亚特区的检察官迈克尔•舍温在1月7日告诉记者,检察机关已经就这场暴动提出了55项指控,其中15起涉及联邦罪行,并且还要提出更多——包括从非法入境到拥有枪支和燃烧弹的一系列指控。

根据检察机关于1月7日发起的指控,一名成年男子在国会大厦内反复猛击一名官员的胸部。另一人则被指控携带手枪。

美国国家公共广播电台(NPR)在1月7日晚间的报道中称,美国司法部(Justice Department)还立了一桩“联邦谋杀案”,涉及一名警察的死亡。

其他几人也于1月7日在哥伦比亚特区高等法院被起诉,理由是非法闯入国会大厦并违反宵禁(相对较轻的指控)。这些人被要求在释放后离开华盛顿特区,除非还参与了其他刑事案件。

舍温说,一些情节更严重的案件,例如涉及煽动性阴谋、暴动叛乱等指控的,将被“公开审理”。

斯坦福大学(Stanford University)的法学教授戴维•斯科兰斯基表示,“以非法和暴力方式踏进众议院门槛”的暴徒将面临重罪指控,并可能因此获刑五年。同时,用武器攻击联邦官员的可能会面临20年的监禁——特别是如果他们造成官员受伤的话。

在2020年全美爆发对乔治•弗洛伊德遇害的抗议活动之后,特朗普总统签署了一项行政命令,要求对蓄意破坏“历史古迹、雕像和纪念馆”的人判处长达10年的监禁。而又由于围攻国会大厦的暴动似乎是为了干扰选举人团清点大选票数,所以刑期可能会提高到20年,斯科兰斯基解释说。

斯科兰斯基说:“在对美国民主制度至关重要的这一天,闯入国会山、破坏议会秩序是相当严重的违法行为——非法围攻国会大厦、扰乱议员的活动、阻止政府正式承认总统选举结果并启动之后的程序,这些显然要比破坏一座纪念碑严重得多。”

加州大学伯克利分校(University of California at Berkeley)的法学教授丹•法伯指出,煽动阴谋罪适用于两个及以上的人“使用武力强行阻止执行任意一条美国法律”的情况。

“显然,他们正打算这样做。”法伯说,他指的是暴徒们试图中断选举人团统计选票的行为。

他说,以“煽动阴谋罪”起诉暴徒将面临一些挑战,其中一个是难以确定他们围攻国会大厦的决定是早有预谋,还是一时起意。在这种情况下,检察官就需要“进一步了解其组织方式”。

他解释说:“这看上去不像是武装袭击,但看起来也不是自发的。”

最终,还是会由检察官根据证据决定,将对这些暴徒采取何种措施。在法伯看来,这次骚乱是相当严重的,因为它是“经过精心策划的,不仅是在各种建筑上喷漆,而且还策划阻碍了政府采取关键行动,同时还是通过武力进行的。”

但美国O'Melveny律师事务所的律师约翰•德尔米迪表示,联邦检察官不太可能以“煽动阴谋罪”指控暴徒,因为华盛顿特区的检察官通常都希望避免案件的政治化。他说,尽管煽动性阴谋的指控“确实可能带来更严重的刑罚”,但“袭击联邦官员罪”的处罚已经很严厉了。检察官可以向暴徒施以这些更常规的指控,以震慑其他人再犯下类似罪行,而不必面临以“煽动阴谋罪”起诉可能产生的政治后果。

“毫无疑问,骚乱非常严重,对国会大厦的袭击可谓骇人听闻,无论如何,特区都无法正常运转。”曾经在美国国家安全委员会(National Security Council)和美国国土安全部(Department of Homeland Security)工作的德尔米迪说。话虽如此,但华盛顿特区的检察官早已习惯于处理“与抗议活动有关的犯罪”了,并且通常会在工作中极力避免政治因素。

在德尔米迪看来,以《煽动法》(Sedition Act)来判刑的历史不长是有原因的。

至于特朗普总统是否会被指控煽动骚乱,斯科兰斯基说这不太可能,尽管他刚刚发表演讲,让自己的支持者“回击”,但很难证明他的目的是让人们以武力或暴力手段非法闯入国会大厦。

斯科兰斯基说:“特朗普散布有关大选的阴谋论、给暴乱火上浇油确实是一项可耻的罪行,但无论如何,要对他进行正式的犯罪指控是很难的。”

即便特朗普被指控犯罪,他也能够对自己行使“总统特赦权”吗?

“谁知道?”法伯说。“关于特朗普,你唯一知道的,就是你永远不会知道他会怎么样。”(财富中文网)

编译:陈聪聪

唐纳德•特朗普的支持者们可能会因为发动暴乱、颠覆美国总统大选程序而受到严厉的惩罚。

1月7日,执法人员表示,在暴乱分子于前一天非法闯入国会大厦、攻击国会官员,并盗走物品(包括政府的笔记本电脑)后,有60多人被捕。另外,CBS新闻(CBS News)报道,被盗的笔记本电脑中可能包含“敏感的国家安全信息”。

哥伦比亚特区的检察官迈克尔•舍温在1月7日告诉记者,检察机关已经就这场暴动提出了55项指控,其中15起涉及联邦罪行,并且还要提出更多——包括从非法入境到拥有枪支和燃烧弹的一系列指控。

根据检察机关于1月7日发起的指控,一名成年男子在国会大厦内反复猛击一名官员的胸部。另一人则被指控携带手枪。

美国国家公共广播电台(NPR)在1月7日晚间的报道中称,美国司法部(Justice Department)还立了一桩“联邦谋杀案”,涉及一名警察的死亡。

其他几人也于1月7日在哥伦比亚特区高等法院被起诉,理由是非法闯入国会大厦并违反宵禁(相对较轻的指控)。这些人被要求在释放后离开华盛顿特区,除非还参与了其他刑事案件。

舍温说,一些情节更严重的案件,例如涉及煽动性阴谋、暴动叛乱等指控的,将被“公开审理”。

斯坦福大学(Stanford University)的法学教授戴维•斯科兰斯基表示,“以非法和暴力方式踏进众议院门槛”的暴徒将面临重罪指控,并可能因此获刑五年。同时,用武器攻击联邦官员的可能会面临20年的监禁——特别是如果他们造成官员受伤的话。

在2020年全美爆发对乔治•弗洛伊德遇害的抗议活动之后,特朗普总统签署了一项行政命令,要求对蓄意破坏“历史古迹、雕像和纪念馆”的人判处长达10年的监禁。而又由于围攻国会大厦的暴动似乎是为了干扰选举人团清点大选票数,所以刑期可能会提高到20年,斯科兰斯基解释说。

斯科兰斯基说:“在对美国民主制度至关重要的这一天,闯入国会山、破坏议会秩序是相当严重的违法行为——非法围攻国会大厦、扰乱议员的活动、阻止政府正式承认总统选举结果并启动之后的程序,这些显然要比破坏一座纪念碑严重得多。”

加州大学伯克利分校(University of California at Berkeley)的法学教授丹•法伯指出,煽动阴谋罪适用于两个及以上的人“使用武力强行阻止执行任意一条美国法律”的情况。

“显然,他们正打算这样做。”法伯说,他指的是暴徒们试图中断选举人团统计选票的行为。

他说,以“煽动阴谋罪”起诉暴徒将面临一些挑战,其中一个是难以确定他们围攻国会大厦的决定是早有预谋,还是一时起意。在这种情况下,检察官就需要“进一步了解其组织方式”。

他解释说:“这看上去不像是武装袭击,但看起来也不是自发的。”

最终,还是会由检察官根据证据决定,将对这些暴徒采取何种措施。在法伯看来,这次骚乱是相当严重的,因为它是“经过精心策划的,不仅是在各种建筑上喷漆,而且还策划阻碍了政府采取关键行动,同时还是通过武力进行的。”

但美国O'Melveny律师事务所的律师约翰•德尔米迪表示,联邦检察官不太可能以“煽动阴谋罪”指控暴徒,因为华盛顿特区的检察官通常都希望避免案件的政治化。他说,尽管煽动性阴谋的指控“确实可能带来更严重的刑罚”,但“袭击联邦官员罪”的处罚已经很严厉了。检察官可以向暴徒施以这些更常规的指控,以震慑其他人再犯下类似罪行,而不必面临以“煽动阴谋罪”起诉可能产生的政治后果。

“毫无疑问,骚乱非常严重,对国会大厦的袭击可谓骇人听闻,无论如何,特区都无法正常运转。”曾经在美国国家安全委员会(National Security Council)和美国国土安全部(Department of Homeland Security)工作的德尔米迪说。话虽如此,但华盛顿特区的检察官早已习惯于处理“与抗议活动有关的犯罪”了,并且通常会在工作中极力避免政治因素。

在德尔米迪看来,以《煽动法》(Sedition Act)来判刑的历史不长是有原因的。

至于特朗普总统是否会被指控煽动骚乱,斯科兰斯基说这不太可能,尽管他刚刚发表演讲,让自己的支持者“回击”,但很难证明他的目的是让人们以武力或暴力手段非法闯入国会大厦。

斯科兰斯基说:“特朗普散布有关大选的阴谋论、给暴乱火上浇油确实是一项可耻的罪行,但无论如何,要对他进行正式的犯罪指控是很难的。”

即便特朗普被指控犯罪,他也能够对自己行使“总统特赦权”吗?

“谁知道?”法伯说。“关于特朗普,你唯一知道的,就是你永远不会知道他会怎么样。”(财富中文网)

编译:陈聪聪

Pro–Donald Trump rioters could face serious penalties for subverting the presidential election process.

More than 60 people were arrested on January 6 after rioters breached the Capitol, assaulted officers, and stole items, including government laptop, law enforcement said on January 7. Additionally, the stolen laptop may have contained "sensitive national security information," CBS News reported.

Michael Sherwin, U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, told reporters on January 7 that prosecutors filed 55 cases, 15 of which involve federal crimes, related to the riots—with more to come. The charges range from unlawful entry to possessing firearms and Molotov cocktails.

One adult male repeatedly punched an officer in the chest inside the Capitol, according to charges filed on January 7. Another was accused of carrying a pistol.

The Justice Department has also opened a "federal murder case" involving the death of a police officer, NPR reported January 7 evening.

Several others were arraigned on January 7 at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia for unlawful entry into the Capitol and violating curfew, relatively minor charges. They were released from custody and ordered to stay out of Washington, D.C., unless they were also involved in the criminal cases.

For the more serious cases, seditious conspiracy, rioting, and insurrection charges “are on the table,” Sherwin said.

Rioters with felony charges like unlawfully and violently entering the House floor could face five years of prison, said Stanford University law professor David Sklansky. Meanwhile, assaulting a federal officer with a weapon could mean 20 years of incarceration, particularly if the officer was injured, he added.

Following the nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd last year, President Trump signed an executive order that called for up to 10 years’ imprisonment for vandalism or destruction of “historical monuments, statues, and memorials.” But because the Capitol siege seemed to be intended to interfere with Electoral College vote counting, the prison sentence could rise to 20 years, Sklansky explained.

“Breaking into the nation’s Capitol to disrupt the business of Congress on a particularly critical day of American democracy is a pretty serious violation,” Sklansky said. “It’s hard to see the vandalizing of a monument as worse than breaking into the Capitol, disrupting members of Congress, and preventing the government from formalizing the results of a presidential election.”

Dan Farber, a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley, pointed out that seditious conspiracy charges are applicable when two or more people use “force to prevent the execution of any law in the United States.”

“Clearly they were trying to do that,” said Farber, referring to efforts to stop the electoral voting count.

Among the challenges in charging rioters with seditious conspiracy, however, is the difficulty in determining whether their decision to breach the Capitol was planned or spur of the moment, he said. In such cases, prosecutors would need to know “more about how this was organized.”

“This didn’t look like a military assault, but it also didn’t look spontaneous,” he explained.

Ultimately it will be up to prosecutors to determine, based on evidence, how tough an approach to take. In Farber’s view, the riot was severe considering that it was “specifically designed to not just throw paint on stuff or on a building, but something designed to prevent a crucial government action and that was done with force.”

But John Dermody, a counsel at the O’Melveny law firm, said it’s unlikely that federal prosecutors will charge rioters with seditious conspiracy because Washington, D.C., prosecutors generally want to avoid politicizing their cases. While seditious conspiracy charges “do bring potentially much higher penalties,” he said, the penalty for assaulting a federal officer is already severe. Prosecutors can levy the rioters with more conventional charges that could act as a deterrent for others to commit similar crimes, without having to deal with the politics that would come from charging them with seditious conspiracy.

“Make no mistake, the riots were extraordinary, and the attack on the Capitol was shocking and not business as usual in D.C. by any measure,” said Dermody, who previously worked at the National Security Council and the Department of Homeland Security. That said, D.C. prosecutors are used to dealing with “crimes related to protests” and generally try to avoid bringing politics into their line of work, he said.

“I think there’s a reason why with the Sedition Act, there’s not a long history of it being used,” Dermody said.

As for President Trump being charged with inciting the riots, Sklansky said that would be unlikely. Despite his speech just before, in which he exhorted his supporters to “fight,” Sklansky said it would be difficult to prove that his intent was to have people illegally enter the Capitol by force or violence.

“The way in which Donald Trump threw matches into the spilled gasoline, into the conspiracy theories of this election is an impeachable offense, but nonetheless, it would be difficult to charge him with criminal acts,” Sklansky said.

And even if Trump were charged with a crime, would he be able to pardon himself?

“Who knows?” said Farber. “The one thing you got to say about Trump is that you just don’t know.”

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