Jacob Chansley, the so-called “QAnon Shaman”, was sentenced to 41 months in prison for his role in the riots in the U.S. Capitol.
As a way to set an example among the rioters on January 6, the Justice Department requested a severe sentence for Chansley, and prosecutors have positioned Chansley as a symbol of the barbaric crowd. Since then, Chansley has been known as the “QAnon Shaman,” a figure known in the Internet fringe movement, and his widely shared photos captured him wearing face painting and headgear in the Senate Chamber.
Judge Royce Lambers has kept Chansley in jail since his arrest, despite his repeated attempts to gain sympathy and his release. Other judges may use Lambs’ judgment as a possible benchmark, because in more than 660 Capitol riots, Chanceley was one of the first felony defendants to be punished.
The photo of Chansley in the Capitol became popular for its bizarre appearance, while leading others through the Capitol and yelling into the megaphone. According to his guilty plea, as one of the first 30 rioters in the building, he went to the Senate podium, which was rushed by then Vice President Mike Pence earlier and left a note.
Chansley also hung an American flag on a spear and flagpole, which the prosecutor classified as a weapon. Lambers only asked a few questions about Chanceley’s leaving a note to Pence, whether he knew the crowd posed other threats to Pence’s life, and his choice that day. “He portrayed himself as a riot, didn’t he?” Lambeth said to Chansley’s defense attorney. “For better or worse, he made himself the image of the whole incident.”
Prosecutor Kimberly Paschall used several videos to show Chansley’s entrance into the Capitol and Senate and yelled with the crowd. “That’s not peace.” Pascal called his role in the mob “chaotic” and “terrible.” For more than 30 minutes, Chancery told Lambeth about the impact of prison on him and his guilt for breaking the law. He said he was wrong to enter the Capitol on January 6th and that he was not a rebel or a domestic terrorist.
His lengthy speech caught the attention of the judge because Chanceley cited Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and “The Shawshank’s Redemption” and described his desire to live like Jesus Christ and Gandhi. “The hardest part about this is knowing that I should be blamed. You have to look in the mirror to know that you really messed up. Royal,” Chansley said.
“Because of me, I was imprisoned in solitary confinement. Because of my decision. I broke the law…I should do what Gandhi would do and take responsibility,” he said. “There is no if, no but, this is what a person with dignity does.” He promised never to go to jail again.
“I think your remarks are the greatest remarks I have heard in 34 years,” Lambeth told Chansley, calling his speech “similar to what Martin Luther King would say.” However, Lambers added, “What you are doing here is as horrible as you admit it now,” and he could not justify a shorter sentence.
‘QAnon Shaman’ Jacob Chansley sentenced to 41 months in prison for role in US Capitol riotAfter the riots and arrest, Chanceley asked then President Donald Trump for pardon. He also went on a hunger strike while in custody, tried to obtain organic food, and talked to “60 Minutes” in prison without permission. In September, Chanceley pleaded guilty to a felony charge that prevented Congress from certifying the 2020 vote.