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 March 4, 2024

Appeals court determines hundreds of Jan. 6 rioters wrongly sentenced by zealous leftist judges

A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., delivered a significant ruling on Friday, determining that some criminal defendants implicated in the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot had their sentences improperly increased.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit concluded that the sentence of defendant Larry Rendall Brock was incorrectly augmented with charges of "interference with the administration of justice," as reported by the Associated Press.

The background

Brock, a retired Air Force officer who was clad in combat attire during the Capitol breach, will now undergo re-sentencing in light of this decision, potentially influencing numerous other cases stemming from the tumultuous events of that day.

Circuit Judge Millett, the author of the court's opinion, emphasized that interference with Congress' certification of the 2020 presidential election results does not justify a sentence enhancement.

Millett's opinion addressed Brock's challenges to the district court's interpretation of Section 1512(c)(2) and the sufficiency of evidence supporting his conviction.

Brock also contested the district court's application of a three-level sentencing enhancement for interfering with the "administration of justice."

Other cases

The AP report underscored that this enhancement, applied in over 100 other January 6 defendants' cases, was predicated on Brock's conduct causing "substantial interference with the administration of justice," as stated by Patricia Hartman, a spokesperson for Washington's U.S. attorney's office.

“Brock challenges both the district court’s interpretation of Section 1512(c)(2)’s elements and the sufficiency of the evidence to support that conviction. He also challenges the district court’s application of the three-level sentencing enhancement for interfering with the ‘administration of justice," Millet wrote.

The AP report highlighted that the enhancement, applied in over 100 other Jan. 6 defendants' cases, was based on Brock's conduct resulting in "substantial interference with the administration of justice," as stated by Patricia Hartman, a spokesperson for Washington's U.S. attorney's office.

The impact

The court's decision raises concerns about the sentencing disparities among other January 6 defendants who received longer prison terms due to similar charges. When queried about potential appeals, Hartman remarked that prosecutors are assessing their options.

Brock, previously sentenced to two years in prison for felony obstruction of an official proceeding and misdemeanor offenses, is currently serving his sentence at a federal facility in Missouri. Bureau of Prisons records indicate an expected release in December.

The ruling could lead to more cases of appeals related to Jan. 6 claims that will make for more controversy in a key presidential year.

Written By:
Dillon Burroughs

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