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‘QAnon Shaman’ Jacob Chansley was released early from prison, and a former prosecutor said it’s totally normal to have sentences reduced

qanon shaman jacob chansley jake angeli capitol riotJacob Chansley.

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  • January 6 rioter Jacob Chansley, known as the “QAnon Shaman,” has been released from prison early.
  • Chansley was moved to a halfway house in Arizona, his trial lawyer told Insider. 
  • Chansley was let out of prison after serving 27 months of his 41-month sentence.

Infamous Capitol riot defendant Jacob Chansley, known as the “QAnon Shaman,” has been released from federal prison months early and moved to a halfway house in Arizona, officials and his attorney confirmed on Thursday. 

And a former prosecutor says it’s normal for federal sentences to be cut short.

Chansley, 35, was sentenced to 41 months in prison in November 2021 after pleading guilty to one count of obstruction of an official proceeding for his involvement with the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol. 

But he was transferred on Tuesday from Arizona’s Federal Correctional Institution Safford to “community confinement” overseen by the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Phoenix Residential Reentry Management Office, a prisons spokesperson told Insider on Thursday.

He had served 27 months of his 41-month sentence.

Chansley’s projected release date from any kind of federal custody is May 25, the Bureau of Prisons spokesperson said. 

“For safety, and security reasons, we do not discuss the conditions of confinement for any inmate, including transfers or release plans, nor do we specify an individual’s specific location while in community confinement,” the spokesperson added. 

Chansley’s attorney during the trial, Albert Watkins, applauded his former client’s release, saying in a statement to Insider: “It is appropriate this gentle and intelligent young man be permitted to move forward with the next stage of what undoubtedly will be a law-abiding and enriching life.”

Watkins said that he attributes the early release of Chansley — who walked the Capitol building wearing a horned headdress and paint — “to be a function of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons evaluating Mr. Chansley’s eligibility for release based on the plea agreement, the sentence imposed, the model behavior of Mr. Chansley while confined, the programs he completed and  a host of factors routinely taken into consideration by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.”

Former New York prosecutor Mark Bederow told Insider that it is “common” for federal inmates to get their sentences lessened under the First Step Act, which was passed in 2018. 

“It’s relatively common for an eligible offender to have a federal sentence moderately reduced before an offender completes the full term of a prison sentence,” said Bederow, a criminal defense attorney.

Conservative pundits and personalities had rallied around Chansley, with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson devoting a section of his show to showing video footage from the January 6 insurrection, claiming it showed the rioters, on the whole, were peaceful and using it as evidence that Chansley should be released. Twitter and Telsa CEO Elon Musk also chimed in and called for Chansley to be freed.

The Department of Justice said in a court filing after the footage aired that Carlson’s program took the video — provided by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy — was taken out of context. A producer for Carlson’s show stood by their presentation.

“Our team’s review of available surveillance footage of Mr. Chansley is consistent with our reporting,” Tucker Carlson Tonight senior executive producer Justin Wells said in a statement.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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