After a wait of more than six months, we’re just one week away from Josh Duggar’s sentencing hearing.
The stakes couldn’t be higher for Josh, who’s facing 20 years behind bars.
Following a lifetime of depraved and predatory behavior, Josh was convicted of receiving and possessing child pornography back in December.
As their letters to the judge on Josh’s behalf reflected, the Duggars still believe their eldest son is innocent.
Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Josh insists that he’s done nothing wrong and is the victim of a liberal conspiracy to destroy his family’s reputation.
And so Josh will appeal his conviction, and his request for a second trial will likely get underway sometime this year.
It will be difficult for defense attorneys to prove that Josh has been framed by the Biden administration as his wife, Anna Duggar, reportedly believes.
But will he be able to convince a jury that he was wrongly convicted due to prejudice engendered by his fame and previous transgressions?
Well, believe it or not, it’s possible.
But thankfully, Josh is fighting an uphill battle.
“I would assume there will be an appeal,” former U.S. Attorney David Haas told In Touch in recent interview.
“However, the specific issues raised on appeal will take time to be heard. The trial court has already heard these issues so a successful appeal could be difficult.”
So yes, despite the appeal it’s more than likely that Josh will be forced to serve whatever sentence he receives at his hearing on May 25.
“The Federal Sentencing Guidelines will suggest an advisory sentencing range,” Haas explained to In Touch.
“In most cases, the Guidelines range will be lower than the maximum penalty – in this case, less than 40 years.”
Don’t get too excited — each of the two charges that Josh was convicted of carries a maximum penalty of up to 20 years, but according to federal sentencing guidelines, he can only be convicted on one of them.
The sentencing hearing was originally set to take place in April, but Josh’s lawyers requested that it be postponed for “approximately 30 days” in order to “pursue additional information and documentation.”
The attorneys alleged that it had become “more difficult” for Duggar to “[schedule] meetings” due to “certain reasonable COVID-19 precautions understandably instituted at the jail.”
The judge allowed the postponement, but now, Josh’s day of reckoning is almost at hand.
In addition to the length of Josh’s sentence, the judge will determine where the disgraced former reality star will serve his sentence.
Since Josh was convicted in federal court, he could technically be sent to any federal facility in the country, but the most likely scenario is that he’ll be kept close to home to make visitation easier for his wife and seven children.
It’ll be interesting to see which members of the Duggar family attend the sentencing hearing.
While Josh’s wife and mother wrote letters to the judge on his behalf, there’s reason to believe that at least some of Josh’s siblings want him to receive the maximum penalty.
Prosecutors are recommending a sentence of 20 years, while the defense wants Josh to serve a mere five years behind bars.
We’ll have further updates on this developing story as new information becomes available.