For the past year, many activists have complained that Jan. 6 attackers haven't faced harsher punishments that fit the crime. First-time offenders who did little other than enter the Capitol and who didn't touch anything or break anything are being given community service or probation.
Such was the case with Edward Hemenway, who submitted his community service was done because he reviewed a civics and American government textbook for 60 hours, wrote BuzzFeed justice reporter Zoe Tillman.
Hemenway agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge for illegally parading at the US Capitol. While he got 45 days in prison, when it came to community service, he filed a letter that is drawing questions.
According to his claim, he read “training materials” about “Anger Management, Civics, Drug and Alcohol Awareness, Parenting and American Government.” He then effectively wrote a book report on it.
"Hemenway’s codefendant and cousin Robert Bauer, who received the same sentence, also confirmed to the court that he’d finished his 60 hours of service, Tillman wrote. "Bauer appeared to take a more traditional route, attaching a letter from the public works department in his hometown of Cave City, Kentucky, that he’d performed 'general labor.'"
It's drawing attention to those who received lower-level punishments beyond jail. Most judges are also blocking requests from media about the specifics of the community service. Records about Anna Morgan-Lloyd, who claimed to have been "played" by Laura Ingraham, for example, has been hidden by the judge in Indiana.
One online company called Logan Social Services helps those on probation or mandated to do community service meet their hours. They claim that working through them "truly helps your community" because it's more widely available. They provide online class options for anyone tasked with mandated classes on "parenting, drug and alcohol abuse, anger management, driving, domestic violence, shoplifting, and sexual harassment," said the report. The company is run by a non-profit church that doesn't list its religion.