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A Civilian’s Guide to Insurrection Legalese

The Marshall Project – Everyone’s talking about sedition, treason and conspiracy. Here’s what these terms actually mean and how they’ve been enforced. “In the 24 hours since a mob incited by the president of the United States stormed the Capitol attempting to halt the functioning of American democracy, the news media and everyone else have been at a loss for words to describe what happened. Was it a coup, or an insurrection? Did anyone commit treason, or sedition? What exactly does it mean to incite a crime, or to riot? These aren’t just word games. Knowing how these terms are specifically defined under federal law will have consequences for the most violent of the rioters who have been or could be arrested by federal authorities—and also for Donald Trump and others who instigated the crowd’s actions. To be sure, the most likely federal charges that could be levied against Trump supporters fall under the broad—and less serious—ban on committing “unlawful activities” on Capitol grounds, from “violent entry” to property destruction to disorderly conduct. Here’s a Marshall Project roundup of some of the terms in U.S. criminal law being batted around this week…”

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