A Princeton University Student Sentenced for Capitol Riot
Princeton University Student Storms U.S. Capitol
A former Princeton University student found himself in legal trouble after participating in the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Larry Fife Giberson, a 19-year-old political science major at the time, joined other rioters in a coordinated effort to breach the Capitol’s defenses and interfere with the police officers on guard. This act of defiance against the authorities led to his recent sentencing of two months in prison.
Remorse and Shame
Now 22 years old and a recent Princeton University graduate, Giberson expressed deep remorse and shame for his actions during the Capitol riot. Before U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols, he acknowledged the recklessness and thoughtlessness of his behavior, stating that his true defining moment came when he stood before the judge.
Prosecutors had initially recommended an 11-month prison sentence for Giberson. However, Judge Nichols, taking into consideration Giberson’s age and expressions of remorse, decided on a more lenient sentence of two months in prison. Additionally, Giberson will serve six months of home detention following his incarceration.
Giberson Pleads Guilty
Giberson pleaded guilty to the charge of interfering with police during a civil disorder. This felony charge carries a maximum prison sentence of five years. However, with his guilty plea and remorseful attitude, the judge believed that Giberson’s expressions of remorse were genuine and took them into account when determining the sentence.
Backlash and Disciplinary Actions
Giberson faced backlash on campus following his arrest. The Daily Princetonian published an opinion piece calling for the university to withhold his diploma. A student speaker at Class Day also made a sarcastic reference to Giberson’s case. While Princeton University did not comment on whether they disciplined Giberson, other universities took disciplinary actions against students involved in the Capitol riot. The University of Kentucky suspended a student, UCLA suspended a student, and The Citadel expelled a student, all due to their participation in the events of January 6.
Purpose and Motivation
Giberson, a political science major with a specialization in American ideas and institutions, was particularly interested in Constitutional law and interpretation. Prosecutors revealed that he had concerns about the 2020 election and claimed he went to the Capitol to support what he believed to be the correct certification of the Electoral College vote.
The Storming of the Capitol
On January 6, 2021, Giberson and his mother traveled from New Jersey to Washington, D.C. to attend then-President Donald Trump‘s “Stop the Steal” rally. While they walked to the Capitol together, they eventually separated. Giberson, wearing a Trump flag, entered a tunnel where he encountered police officers being attacked by other rioters. He encouraged the rioters, tried to start a chant, and remained in the area for about an hour.
Identification and Legal Consequences
After the riot, the FBI posted images of Giberson on various social media platforms to seek the public’s help in identifying him. Online sleuths also contributed to identifying him using the “#DragThemOut” hashtag. Investigators matched these images to those found on Instagram and Princeton University’s website. As a result, Giberson was charged with interfering with police during a civil disorder.
Youth as a Factor
Giberson’s attorney, Charles Burnham, argued that his client’s youth played a significant role in his decisions on January 6. Burnham emphasized that Giberson was passionate about politics and government and considered the 2020 election his first opportunity to actively participate in the democratic process.
Numerous Individuals Charged
Giberson is just one of nearly 1,200 individuals who have been charged with federal crimes related to the Capitol riot. To date, over 800 individuals have pleaded guilty or been convicted. Approximately 700 individuals have already been sentenced, with prison terms ranging from three days to 22 years.
Read More of this Story at www.nbcdfw.com – 2023-11-02 00:08:55
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