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Kenosha News editorial: Capitol rioters must be prosecuted to law's fullest extent
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Kenosha News editorial: Capitol rioters must be prosecuted to law's fullest extent

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Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the election.

The election was free and fair. This was affirmed by election officials in all 50 states, by Republicans and Democrats alike, by judges appointed by both Republicans and Democrats. Biden and Harris defeated President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence by 306 Electoral College votes to 232, a decisive majority.

You do not have to like the result of the 2020 presidential election.

You do, however, have to accept it.

The violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 while the certification of the Electoral College vote was taking place was intent on overturning an election result.

They chanted “Where’s Nancy?” — a reference to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

They chanted “Hang Pence!” The vice president refused to violate the Constitution; he refused to do anything other than abide by the 12th Amendment, which states that “the President of the Senate” — that is, the vice president of the United States — “shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted.” Apparently, in the eyes of this violent mob, his unwillingness to violate the oath he swore on the steps of that same Capitol on Jan. 20, 2017 made him a target for mob justice.

They beat one Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick, with a fire extinguisher. He suffered a stroke and died the next day.

Many other police officers were assaulted. One was literally beaten with an American flag.

Some members of the mob were carrying flex cuffs, the kind police officers use to bind wrists when they’re detaining multiple people at once. If you set out to peacefully exercise your First Amendment rights, you don’t need flex cuffs.

Those who breached the police line assaulted Capitol Police officers and searched for members of Congress were trying to overthrow our democracy.

Those who stormed the Capitol must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

To not punish those responsible would be to embolden the next group that refuses to accept the results of a free and fair election.

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