The ruling board of the Republican Party of Kentucky passed a resolution on Saturday with unanimous consent, stating that many of the people charged with involvement in the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, have been wrongfully imprisoned.
The award recognizes those who were wrongfully imprisoned without being given due process. This follows the attempted coup d’état carried out by supporters of the former president Donald Trump, who has falsely claimed to have won the 2020 presidential contest.
On Friday, Smithfield-based Republican senator Lindsey Tichenor filed a resolution in the Kentucky Senate that was identical.
The vote was very close, according to Bobbie Coleman, the chair of the Hardin County GOP, who presented the motion during the meeting. The Republican Party of Kentucky’s ruling body, the Republican State Central Committee, approved the resolution, which was narrowly approved 34–32.
Coleman said, “I’m not saying everyone is innocent, but there are a lot of people who are.” If the legal system functioned efficiently and within the confines of the constitution, people who genuinely belonged in prison would be there, but others who were merely trespassing or coerced would not.
Based on her assessment, the great majority of participants in the gathering held before the Capitol riot were merely expressing their First Amendment right to free expression.
As of December 2023, the New York Times reports that about 1,240 people had been arrested. In their October report, the Department of Justice reported that around 600 persons had entered guilty pleas to charges pertaining to the Capitol incident, and that about 100 of those people had been found guilty by juries.
Two people have reportedly been found not guilty, according to a New York Times article.
Colmon Elridge, the chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party, has attacked the GOP-sponsored resolution, claiming that it effectively protects and promotes those who participated in the January 6 attack on the Capitol and law enforcement personnel.
Elridge highlighted his worries in a statement about the Kentucky Republican Party and its officials, charging them with encouraging divisiveness, bigotry, and even political violence. He emphasized the difference between the party’s current position and the way the people of Kentucky rejected these harmful aspects back in November.
Republicans in Kentucky, including candidates and elected officials, should boldly resist radicalism, violence, and insurrectionists who have infiltrated their party, and they should denounce this terrible and unpatriotic resolution.
A representative for the Republican Party of Kentucky states that they have not yet replied to a request for comments on the resolution.
The Kentucky GOP resolution makes no recommendations for particular actions. Rather, it expresses recognition for the persons who have been unjustly held without being afforded their constitutional right to due process and acknowledges the events of January 6, 2021.
In his bid to win back the president this year, Trump played down the gravity of the attack on the US Capitol and referred to the people who were held in custody but were facing criminal charges as J6 hostages.
Trump minimized the significance of the Jan. 6 incident, characterizing it as a pleasant and patriotic celebration, when campaigning in Iowa on Saturday.
He pleaded with President Biden to free those convicted of riot-related offenses and placed in prison.
Trump gave his perspective on the J6 prisoners during a campaign appearance in Clinton, Iowa, saying, “They should release the J6 hostages.” Some refer to them as prisoners, but I call them hostages.
The Kentucky Republican Party had a leadership change recently with the appointment of Robert Benvenuti, a well-known Lexington lawyer and former state lawmaker, as chair. This modification was made upon Mac Brown’s resignation as chair.
During a farewell interview with a TV station in Louisville, Brown stated that he thought the Republican party ought to move past Trump.
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