The man known as the “QAnon Shaman,” Jacob Chansley, was freed on Thursday from prison after serving just under 27 months of a 3 1/2-year sentence.
His release followed a lot of attention to his case after a security video that had not previously been seen (or given to his attorneys) was released by Tucker Carlson showing him being escorted around the building by the police. We also covered the fact that he had, at some point during the riot, urged people to act peacefully and to go home.
Here's the video of Capitol police escorting Jacob Chansley through the Capitol that freed him 14 months early.
Thank you Tucker Carlson for telling the truth Democrats desperately tried to hide. pic.twitter.com/KmYUCBXxWv
— Cassandra (@CassyWearsHeels) March 30, 2023
Free Jacob Chansley https://t.co/8BbeXF2Fye
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 10, 2023
The videos captured the attention of a lot of people and sparked calls for his release. Even Elon Musk called for Chansley to be freed after he saw the videos.
But that wasn’t the reason that he was released. Most people don’t understand what gets factored into the calculation of a sentence. A prisoner gets credit for any time served before the sentence and he also gets credit for “good behavior” — that’s pretty much applied to anyone unless they behave atrociously in prison. So in this case, Chansley got a reduction for that.
His attorney, William Shipley, confirmed that was why he was released early — that it had nothing to do with the Carlson video and that he was always going to serve the final six months in a halfway house per the Bureau of Prisons.
Bureau of Prison records confirmed that Chansley is in the custody of the Residential Reentry Management field office in Phoenix, which contracts with halfway houses to help inmates prepare for re-entry to society.
A BOP spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment from DailyMail.com.
It’s perhaps instructive for the general public to know that when you see a “sentence” that someone gets like this, the person is going to serve much less time than you would think in all likelihood. You get credit for that “good time” and you also get credit for any time that you served before your sentence. That’s how a 3 1/2-year sentence can get pared down like this and it’s a normal functioning of the system, not something where he’s getting any special benefit.
That said, the release of the videos by Carlson was instructive to show how not all the facts had been revealed as to what had gone on that day and that this particular video — the video of him being escorted around by the police and even thanking God for their help — had not been given to Chansley’s attorneys. That’s a problem if the DOJ knew about it. You cannot withhold potentially exculpatory evidence from the defense, you must turn it over. So there’s still a big potential question that could be pursued there. Had it been turned over, that might have played a big factor in his case and his sentencing, if he had been seen more that way than as the poster boy for the riot, as he was painted.
How many other “videos” might reveal things like this for other Jan. 6 defendants?
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