The U.S. Constitution Says Treat All Defendants the Same

Equal treatment under the law, right? I think every American agrees that when it comes to law enforcement all citizens should be treated the same way.

So, how to explain the disparity in post-arrest treatment between last year’s George Floyd protestors and this year’s detainees from the breach at the U.S. Capitol?

Nothing that follows should be construed as condoning the behavior of those who forcibly invaded our most iconic building on January 6, 2021. We were all shocked watching the live TV coverage of the mob, literally, breaking into the Capitol and vandalizing the interior as lawmakers began to ratify the presidential election. It took security forces about four hours to get the situation under control. To date about 580 people have been arrested.

free photo via Wikimedia Commons
It Was a Day That Will Live in Infamy

Now, months later, multiple dozens of those conservative-leaning defendants continue to be held in jail. The attorney for one of about 40 defendants still in custody in the District of Columbia jail says his client has been held more than five months, kept in solitary confinement for long stretches and, in violation of his constitutional rights, has been unable to privately communicate with counsel to aid in his own defense. Attorneys for other January 6 defendants who remain locked up have similar complaints.

By contrast, the liberal-leaning BLM/Antifa led demonstrations which began last May raged for months, people were killed, city and federal buildings were set on fire, countless businesses were looted and destroyed. Peaceful protests turned violent in many states and more than 10,000 were arrested. I can’t find reliable information as to how many might still be in custody (if any) but I do know that, for the most part, those protestors were either shooed away from violent crime scenes or arrested and promptly released. Some democratic District Attorneys, in Portland, Oregon, New York and Los Angeles to name just three, announced they would not pursue prosecutions against many of those charged.

free wikimedia photo
Portland’s Mayor Led the Defund the Police Idea

Look, did the January 6th protestors violate the law? You bet they did if they were anywhere inside that most sacred federal building that day. Are some of them members of the extremist right wing conservative group Proud Boys or the association of military, police and first responders called Oath Keepers which pledges to “defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic?” Yes, they are. But since when is it okay to keep people locked up because we don’t like their ideology?

Ah, maybe you’re thinking, “But the January 6th protestors acted like a terrorist organization and attacked a federal building!” Well, did you see similar treatment for BLM or Antifa members after they organized and set fire to the federal courthouse in Portland last summer? And after protective fencing came down and another fiery mob attacked the same building in March, 2021 only one person was arrested. Darby Howard, a guy with a face full of tattoos, including an Antifa symbol the size of a salad plate on his neck, was arrested for criminal mischief, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer.

A Rare Arrest – Darby Howard Was Picked Up in Portland

The FBI is still tracking down and arresting more suspects from the Capitol rampage. And, the first felony conviction of a Capitol rioter occurred in a federal courtroom in Tampa. The prosecutor admitted Paul Hodgkins, 38, did not engage in violence and was not charged with assaulting anyone or damaging any property. But once Hodgkins was inside, where he could plainly see the chaos ahead of him, “What did he do?” the prosecutor asked the court. “He walks toward it. He doesn’t walk away.” Hodgkins, who carried a large red and white Trump flag that day, apologized profusely for his actions and then was sentenced to eight months in prison.

You break the law, you pay the consequences. If law enforcement had pursued the same round-‘em-up-and-jail-‘em tactics with the Portland rioters last year I wonder if that city would have been spared the more than 120 straight days of rioting that destroyed so many businesses along with city and federal properties.

I guess we’ll never know how the leniency in Portland (and several other major cities) might have fed the anger of those who then stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Crime is cyclical. Once a criminal gets away unpunished chances are the mayhem will spread.

FBI Still Asking the Public’s Help to ID January 6th Suspects


  1. Diane Dimond on July 26, 2021 at 11:18 am

    Whitney Buchanan writes:

    The defendants in the BLM rioting are not being treated differently based on ideology, they are being treated differently because of the immense disparity in the seriousness of the crimes. One set of defendants sought to gain attention by obstructing traffic and breaking windows of local storefronts, the other sought to take down the very institution of democracy in the United States of America by forcing Congress to overturn a national election.

    That second group would have been executed for treason in many countries.

    That dunce Donald Trump wanted to be President for life, regardless of the voice of the people, and he incited a mob to try to overthrow the government. Sounds a bit worse than somebody breaking the windows out of the local Tru-Value hardware store — doesn’t it???


    Whitney Buchanan

  2. Diane Dimond on July 26, 2021 at 11:19 am

    Bruce Krohn writes:

    “To defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic”!!! Saints Preserve us!!! Who can be so radicalized, so deeply indoctrinated to say those words? Actually I have said those words three times so far. The first was when I was 18 and given a security clearance so I could work for a National Laboratory and earn money during the summers and pay for college. The second was when I joined up. The third was when I accepted a Commission. Obviously, I have been thouroughly radicalized by that far right cult…….. the United States Government.

  3. Diane Dimond on July 26, 2021 at 11:19 am

    Kevin McKeown writes:

    No other article of yours got me more burned up. What you wrote about I’ve been telling friends for many months.
    Prosecutors and judges at all levels of the federal, state and city government, Congress, the President, colleges and universities, big media, multinational corporations, and high-tech are all bent on the utter destruction of the Republican party, religion, conservative thinking, and . . . the United States.
    Look, I once had educated liberal friends who would look me straight in the face and tell me that the United States is the worst country on Earth, and that it needs to be shredded and destroyed.
    Do I think that if the Democrat party assumes full control of this country they will send the American military out to arrest and gun down 400,000 American citizens, establish concentration camps, and re-education camps? HELL YES! They will do this, believe me. They are depraved fanatics.
    Here in Albuquerque, the Democrat-led city government spearheaded by our mayor Keller, has done absolutely nothing to deal with several terrible destructive riotous events during the Trump years, where businesses were vandalized, looted, cops assaulted, windows smashed, fires started and so on. All this was on videotape and the suspects were videoed close up! None of these rioters received any comeuppance whatsoever. Hell, the mayor never even bothered to try to stop these riots.
    Note: I was a lifelong liberal voting Democrat. Never again.

    Kevin McKeown

  4. Diane Dimond on July 26, 2021 at 11:20 am

    Mary Smith writes:

    Your CRIME AND JUSTICE article in today’s July 24th Albuquerque Journal is excellent. Keep up the good work…..sensible and right.

  5. Diane Dimond on July 26, 2021 at 11:22 am

    mpp writes:

    Well written and excellent op-ed which should make sense to ANY American no matter their political leanings or loyalties. Thank you. Keep up the good work.

    M. Phillips

  6. Diane Dimond on July 26, 2021 at 11:23 am

    Jim Toomey

    Small crimes lead to bigger more aggressive crimes when there is no consequences for their behavior.
    And when you don’t remove the criminal from the law abiding society.

    The bad apple ruins the whole barrel.

  7. Diane Dimond on July 26, 2021 at 11:34 am

    Rob Farella writes:

    “Double standard, once again”

  8. Diane Dimond on July 26, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    NavyVet writes:

    Luckily democrat thugs that Burn Loot and Murder (BLM) have not brought their terrorism to where I live.
    If they ever do, the question will be, will I face prosecution when I defend my home? We already know the democrat BLM crowd is exempt from law enforcement, leaving us no choice: die at their hands, or in prison for trying to survive them.
    Yes, democrats are actively at war with America’s law abiding citizens.

  9. Diane Dimond on July 26, 2021 at 12:38 pm

    Good Reader writes:

    Thanks for addressing this topic. There are a multitude of reasons for those protesting at the Capitol and we all know what those are. There are serious questions about Pelosi’s conduct in this and whether she pre-planned with the FBI, why she and the mayor turned away multiple offers of National Guard support. The whole thing has a bad smell.
    Part of that protest is the inequitable treatment of antifa fascists and BLM. Our corrupt VP was getting funding to get these criminals released. Few have been indicted or jailed.
    Democrats stormed the Capitol building during the Kavanaugh hearings, accosting reps in the halls and elevator, yet not one of them went to jail fo the months on end we’re seeing with the Jan 6th protesters.
    This is not due process and is violating the Constitutional rights of the Jan Sixers. The vandals do indeed deserve prosecution, but most of these protesters were just walking around like tourists. The large number arrested and improperly imprisoned does not fit what we all saw on TV. The brutality that has been directed against the protesters is just not acceptable. They should be released.
    There are questions about the supposed pipe bombs that have yet to be answered satisfactorily. They look suspiciously like plants by the FBI. The issue of the FBI trying to enlist informants also needs a good look because the whole thing looks like Pelosi and other Democrats abusing the agency as a tool against a political rival. This needs to stop. These government officials are supposed to be public servants, not public dictators. They work for us. It’s about time they clean up their act.

    • Diane Dimond on July 26, 2021 at 12:42 pm

      Diane replies to Good Reader:

      I post your comment here because I respect everyone’s right to their own opinion. But your allegation that Speaker Pelosi might have “pre-planned with the FBI” before the Jan 6 event…? I’ve seen no evidence of that at all. That said there have been credible statements made from the former Chief of the Capitol Hill police that he had made multiple requests of Pelosi’s office to call in the National Guard days before Jan 6th. Likewise there is evidence that Vice President Harris helped bail out violent protestors from the post-George Floyd riots. And I wholeheartedly agree with you that elected public officials are SUPPOSED to work for the voters who put them there. Alas, that doesn’t seem to be the case with many of them.

  10. Diane Dimond on July 26, 2021 at 3:06 pm

    James LeTexier writes:

    Has this Nation arrived at a point that our Constitution has just gotten to be ink on some old piece of paper stored away in some vault that it has been forgotten? Is it still “We the People” or does it really mean “Some of the People” but, not me? Is it that some are so blind as they cannot see the people because of the government! I taught my children about accountability, responsibility and reliability for themselves first and then others! Wake up “We the People” before we are just “The Lost People”!

  11. Diane Dimond on July 27, 2021 at 2:31 pm

    kippiecornstalk231 writes:

    solitary is too good for those seditionists. go ask the orange idiot for “justice”- after all, they were fighting for Him.

  12. Diane Dimond on July 27, 2021 at 2:31 pm

    cmilton111 writes:

    Manufactured prosecution. They are flexing to see what’s they can get away with. There is a little corruption in the political arena.

  13. Diane Dimond on July 27, 2021 at 2:32 pm

    jeffreyevangold writes:

    The former were common criminals. The latter tried to interrupt the legitimate operation of our constitutional republic.

  14. Diane Dimond on July 27, 2021 at 2:32 pm

    thisguydad writes:

    With respect: Are insurgents who stormed the halls and offices of the nation’s Capitol and threatened the lives of Vice President Pence and members of Congress the same as those who broke the law during street protests?

  15. Diane Dimond on July 27, 2021 at 2:33 pm

    Jimmy Clohessy writes:

    The justice dept isn’t a swamp, it’s a sewer. A swamp benefits the ecosystem.

  16. Diane Dimond on July 27, 2021 at 2:34 pm

    Ray Labella writes:

    Not sure what you mean by this. The Riot/Terrorist activity on January 6th was meant to overthrow the United States government. I am sure that is why these fools need to be dealt with differently.

  17. Diane Dimond on July 27, 2021 at 2:39 pm

    Chris Hull@Chrisahull writes:

    Excellent article as always, Diane, there is a disturbing pattern taking place in this country where selective prosecution is implemented and due process is subject to the scrutiny of the prosecutors!

  18. Diane Dimond on July 27, 2021 at 2:42 pm

    Miss Fatcat writes:

    Out the cop that murdered Ashlii Babbitt. Try him as was Derek Chauvin.
    Release prisoners from 1⁄6, they have served enough time for trespass.
    Impeach Pelosi for not protecting the Capitol and subverting due process. Recall DA Gascon in Los Angeles and Newsom in California.
    Larry Elder for governor. EVERY black person and liberal and the rest of us should see “Uncle Tom” on Prime Video or buy the DVD.
    The movie is produced by Larry Elder and tells the truth.

  19. Diane Dimond on July 28, 2021 at 10:54 am

    John Bisney writes:

    The Equal Protection Clause guarantees all citizens just that…equal protection under the laws. It does not, however, guarantee equal prosecution.

  20. Diane Dimond on July 28, 2021 at 10:57 am

    DD replies to John:

    I would submit that the Equal Prosecution Clause also extends to “equal prosecutions.” If the law is not uniformly applied down the chain – from arrest, charging and conviction – then it is not equal.

  21. Diane Dimond on August 1, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    Ira Weiss writes:

    Simple answer. Last years rioters were Dem supporters. Jan 6 rioters were supposedly Trump supporters minus the planted agitators. The rioters in the cities didn’t bother Pelosi and company. The folks entering the Capitol scared her silly. But you know she was happy about it. Gave rise to how many 1000’s of troops protecting her in DC??

Leave a Comment