Court Rules More Than 100 J6 Defendants Were Overcharged

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More than 100 J6 defendants might have been overcharged and eligible for lighter sentences. The AP reported that the partisan Department of Justice added enhancements to sentences that the convicted J6ers interfered with the “administration of justice.”

A three-judge panel of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Justice Department’s argument that convicted rioters merited lengthier prison sentences for interfering in the “administration of justice” when they entered the Capitol to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 election win.

“[T]he phrase ‘administration of justice’ does not encompass Congress’s role in the electoral certification process,” Judge Patricia Millett wrote in the court’s unanimous ruling.

“[T]ext, context, and commentary show that ‘administration of justice’ refers to judicial, quasi-judicial, and adjunct investigative proceedings, but does not extend to the unique congressional function of certifying electoral college votes,” she added.

“Administration of justice” enhancements are typically reserved for defendants who disrupt judicial proceedings, such as a courtroom trial or grand jury investigation.

The judge said it is not interference in the administration of justice.

The enhancement — on the grounds that Brock’s conduct resulted in “substantial interference with the administration of justice” — has been applied in more than 100 other Jan. 6 defendants’ cases, said Patricia Hartman, a spokesperson for Washington’s U.S. attorney’s office. If the ruling stands, those defendants who have not already completed their prison terms may push for new sentences.

This came about after an appeal by convicted rioter Larry Brock, a retired Air Force officer who entered the Capitol wearing a military combat helmet and tactical vest. He was convicted of a felony of obstruction of an official proceeding and misdemeanor offenses and given two years in prison. If this charge is removed, his sentence could be reduced by nine months.

The FBI is considering an appeal.


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