On Tuesday, March 8th, a Washington D.C. jury found 49-year-old Guy Wesley Reffitt, the first U.S. Capitol rioter to stand trial, guilty on all charges related to the capitol attack that took place on January 6th, 2021. The jury, which deliberated for less than four hours found Reffitt guilty of the following: transporting a firearm in furtherance of a civil disorder; obstruction of an official proceeding; entering or remaining in a restricted area or grounds with a firearm; obstructing officers during a civil disorder; and obstruction of justice—hindering communication through force or threat of physical force.
The strongest evidence in the case came from Reffitt’s 19-year-old son, Jackson Reffitt, who testified about his father’s involvement in the constitutional group, the Texas Three Percenters, his staunch support of then-President Trump, and how he “snowballed into a far-right extremist.” Reffitt is the first of the U.S. Capitol rioters to go on trial for their involvement in the January 6 attack. According to CNN, his conviction could have a dramatic effect on the hundreds of defendants whose cases are still making their way through the criminal justice system. Other defendants who have been accused of crimes related to the capitol attack may be encouraged to plea bargain, rather than risk facing a jury trial. Reffitt is scheduled to be sentenced on June 8th, 2022. He is facing a maximum sentence of 60-years in prison.
Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.
- Writing: Explain the impact that Guy Wesley Reffitt’s conviction could have on the hundreds of capitol riot defendants whose cases are still making their way through the criminal justice system.
- Debate: According to CNN, Reffitt’s conviction could have a dramatic effect on the other capitol riot defendants whose cases are still making their way through the justice system. Do you believe that Reffitt’s conviction will encourage the other capitol riot defendants to take a plea deal?
- Poll: The capitol riot defendants should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. (Agree or Disagree).
- Short Answer: Discuss the charges that Guy Wesley Reffitt was found guilty of.
Cover Image: iStock/Chris Ryan