As American citizens, Jan. 6th prisoners are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
By Richard Manning
I had the privilege of attending two news conferences on Thursday with four courageous members of Congress, Reps. Louie Gohmert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Bob Good and Matt Gaetz. They spoke to reporters at both the Washington, DC jail where the Jan. 6th defendants are being held and at the base of the U.S. Capitol.
I shared my experiences with the Sean Hannity Radio Show listeners. You can listen here to that interview:
Richard Manning on the Sean Hannity Radio Show talking about importance of the Bill of Rights
My message is simple: liberty matters. Every American citizen, regardless of the allegations against them, is entitled to due process under the law and humane treatment while jailed.
I have never been as proud of any members of Congress as I was of these four. Rather than ducking controversy, they shined a light on allegations of abuse of the Jan. 6th prisoners. They are seeking to ensure humane conditions for all prisoners in the DC jail. Defense attorneys have told lawmakers that these prisoners have been subjected to solitary confinement under conditions that are antithetical to the core values of the American system of justice. As American citizens, Jan. 6th prisoners are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The public employees who operate the DC Jail could have easily assuaged concerns of prisoner mistreatment by opening their doors to members of Congress who have oversight over their budget. Instead, they demanded the members leave the public lobby and accused them of trespassing. When the ‘supervisor’ came out to meet with the members, she met them outside and proceeded to turn heel and leave, locking the door behind her.
If the DC Jail had nothing to hide, it is reasonable to ask, why they worked so hard to avoid any transparency whatsoever? If prisoners who have not been convicted of any misdemeanor or felony are not being abused, the behavior of those who run this jail gave credence to every concern about what is happening under their watch. Enough is enough.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has judicial oversight authority over the District of Columbia and it is time for him to demand answers. There is no excuse for Justice Roberts to remain silent. If those prisoners are being denied their due process rights, then no one else’s rights are safe, either.
Americans owe a debt of gratitude to Reps Gohmert, Taylor Green, Good and Gaetz, along with Paul Gosar who has been the point of the spear on this issue. The only question is where were the other 430 Members of Congress?
Every single member of Congress has sworn an oath to the Constitution that says under the
American system of justice, a person is innocent until proven guilty. Every member should be demanding that basic standard be met.
In writing the Constitution, our Founding Fathers were absolutely genius. Instead of a state in which the government ruled over the people, they created a state in which the people rule over the government. This was a radical break with every other construct of government in history. We have lasted for more than 240 because of the balance of power that protects our underlying individual liberties. Unfortunately, today many in Congress want to tear that government down and tear down the Constitution because they view it as an evil document.
I’m not saying the Jan. 6th political prisoners should be released. I’m saying they have due process rights and to deny them those rights because of political reasons is an affront to our basic constitutional liberties and it is wrong.
As Americans we should demand more of our members of Congress. Every single one of them ought to be fighting for the due process rights of the Jan. 6th prisoners.
Richard Manning is President of Americans for Limited Government.
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