Ruling Gives Some 1/6 Defendants Some Incredible News

In a pivotal ruling with far-reaching implications, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has overturned a significant sentencing decision, marking a potential turning point for over a hundred related cases. This groundbreaking judgment mandates the resentencing of Larry Brock, who had previously been handed a two-year federal prison term for his role in the January 6th protests.

Brock, alongside various co-defendants, had faced sentence enhancements that led to extended periods of incarceration. However, a panel of three judges has now determined these enhancements to be unfounded, ordering their elimination from Brock’s and potentially others’ sentences.

The crux of the appeals court’s contention lay with the “interference with the administration of justice” charges. Specifically, Brock disputed the lower court’s interpretation of the elements of Section 1512(c)(2) and questioned the evidence supporting his conviction under this statute. Furthermore, he contested the application of a three-level sentencing enhancement tied to the alleged interference with the judicial process.

In a clarifying judgment, the appeals court stated, “Regarding Brock’s sentence, we conclude that the ‘administration of justice’ enhancement is inapplicable to acts of interference with the legislative act of certifying electoral votes.”

From ABC News:

The three-judge panel ruled that defendants convicted of obstructing the congressional certification had received improper enhancements of their sentences from district court judges who determined their actions amounted to “substantial interference with the ‘administration of justice.'”

In their ruling, the panel of judges upheld Brock’s conviction but ordered the district judge overseeing his case to resentence him and remove the enhancement he had previously included — which in many instances has paved the way for judges to increase the lengths of prison terms for rioters by more than a year.

“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,’” the court opinion read. 

“As for Brock’s sentence, we hold that the ‘administration of justice’ enhancement does not apply to interference with the legislative process of certifying electoral votes,”  the decision said. 

This decision implies that, absent the disputed enhancement, Brock’s actions would have merited merely misdemeanor charges. Legal analysts suggest this ruling could influence the outcomes of at least a hundred defendants previously sentenced under the same enhancements as Brock.


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