Is Hunter Biden Headed to Jail?

Hunter Biden
June 10, 2024 Topic: Politics Region: Americas Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: Hunter BidenJoe Biden2024 ElectionU.S. PoliticsDonald Trump

Is Hunter Biden Headed to Jail?

Hunter Biden’s gun trial is nearing its conclusion, forcing the question of whether Biden will face prison time. My best guess is no, Biden will not face imprisonment – nor should he.


Hunter Biden’s gun trial is nearing its conclusion, forcing the question of whether Biden will face prison time. My best guess is no, Biden will not face imprisonment – nor should he. Prison time is not something that should be doled out casually, and it most certainly should not be doled out for forging paperwork in what was a victimless alleged crime.

Still, prison is a possible outcome, so let’s consider the possibility.


Hard time for Hunter Biden? 

“Legal opinion varies about whether Hunter Biden will be imprisoned if convicted in his gun trial,” Newsweek reported. “But experts agree that he would have avoided prison had the court accepted a plea agreement that his attorney had worked out with prosecutors.”

According to defense attorney Oleg Nekritin, Biden is unlikely to serve time in jail.

“Conviction for this type of crime generally does not result in a prison sentence. Mr Biden’s calculated risk to try this case is a good one – the court’s venue is in Delaware, where his family is still popular, and the alleged crime does not involve a victim.”

The charges in question stem from a gun purchase Biden made in 2018. Biden allegedly made false statements on a federal form when he answered that he was not a drug user, but he was in fact using crack cocaine at the time. 

Gun purchases should be closely regulated, and active drug users should not be allowed to purchase guns. There should also be penalties for lying on federal forms. But sentencing someone to prison for lying about their drug use on a gun purchase form is draconian.

Reconceptualizing Prison

Prison is a significant deprivation of personal liberty, which should be considered with reverence as a last resort. Yet in America, prison time is considered casually, as a practical punishment befitting a wide variety of crimes. The result has been mass incarceration. America has more citizens imprisoned than anywhere else on Earth, a trend with harmful effects that can ripple across geography and generations.

Some citizens cannot participate as functional members of society. Their unchecked freedom poses a threat to the safety or freedom of those around them. Rapists, murderers, Ted Kaczynski, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev fit the bill. Prison serves as a very practical tool for removing such individuals from society.

But prison is too often construed as a punishment for the sake of punishment, rather than a narrowly tailored, practical tool for removing people from society. Rather, many of the people serving time are doing so simply because they broke our laws – marijuana possession, falsifying federal forms, what have you – an outcome that has been normalized in America (and may seem self-evident and appropriate to the reader). 

But if you reconceptualize prison simply as a method for removing people from society who cannot safely function in society, rather than a rote punishment for people who broke the law, then it becomes harder to justify incarcerating someone – like Hunter Biden, for example.

Hunter Biden may well be guilty of breaking the law, and a jury is likely to find him guilty. But regardless, Biden poses no threat to the safety or liberty of those around him. He does not need to be removed from society for the sake of the greater good. Rather, were Biden imprisoned, it would be for the sake of punishment, to demonstrate to Biden and others that our laws exist for a reason, and that breaking those laws will not be tolerated. Well, that message can be promoted without sending someone to prison. And Hunter Biden can be appropriately punished without being incarcerated.  

About the Author: Harrison Kass 

Harrison Kass is a defense and national security writer with over 1,000 total pieces on issues involving global affairs. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.