At least 70% of people charged in the Capitol riot have been released as they wait for trial, according to a Guardian analysis.
That high pretrial release rate stands in stark contrast with the usual detention rates in the federal system, where only 25% of defendants nationwide are typically released before their trial.
Eric Munchel, known as “Zip Tie Guy”, who was allegedly photographed wearing tactical gear and carrying wrist restraints in the Senate chamber, was released in late March, along with his mother, after an appeals court questioned whether he posed any danger outside the specific context of 6 January.
Richard Barnett, the Arkansas man photographed with his foot on Nancy Pelosi’s desk, was released in late April, nearly two months after screaming during a court hearing that “it’s not fair” that he was still in custody when “everybody else who did things much worse are already home”.
Multiple alleged members of the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, two groups facing the most serious conspiracy charges related to their alleged plans for violence, have been released before trial, though some prominent leaders in these groups remain in custody.
The disparity in pretrial detention rates highlights what legal experts said was a broader development in the 6 January cases: the likelihood that a substantial swathe of the alleged rioters may not serve any prison time at all, even if they are convicted or plead guilty.