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Pro-Trump insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021

Photo by Tyler Merbler (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

A member of the Proud Boys facing federal charges for his alleged involvement in the Capitol insurrection is urging a federal judge to release him from jail after he contracted COVID-19 behind bars.

According to Politico, Christopher Worrell is currently incarcerated at a Washington, D.C., jail and his attorney Allen Orenberg is petitioning to get him out. Orenberg argues that his client, who suffers from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, is facing a number of obstacles in receiving proper medical treatment behind bars.

Worrell, who is also immuno-compromised, previously requested assistance from the U.S. District Court as his symptoms grew worse amid his incarceration.

"Given the pandemic and acute danger to Mr. Worrell, his continued detention amounts to impermissible pretrial punishment," Orenberg wrote. "The Government's interest in securing his appearance at trial does not outweigh his liberty interest in remaining alive and free from harm."

Orenberg also noted that Worrell's COVID diagnosis happened amid his petition in response to Judge Beryl Howell—who serves as the chief of the Federal District Court in D.C.—and the judge's decision to reject his initial bid for release.

In response, Howell raised questions about Orenberg's arguments suggesting his client did not have proper access to cancer medications. According to the publication, Howell instead attributes the lack of access to Worrell's doctors. She also highlighted Worrell's participation in the U.S. Capitol riots, arguing "that Worrell joined the Capitol mob maskless and without apparent concern for his health."

Aside from his health concerns, the federal judge also ruled that "Worrell's alleged attack on police with a chemical spray, as well as his other conduct on January 6, justify his continued detention. She also ordered him detained in part because of an apparent threat he made to a witness while FBI agents were taking him into custody."

Worrell is one of many alleged Capitol rioters expressing concern about their treatment behind bars. So far, the Department of Justice has arrested more than 400 individuals in connection with the Capitol riots.

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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