Federal Appeals Court ‘Nullifies’ J6 Defendant’s Excessive Sentence

A federal appeals court has ruled that a defendant involved in the January 6 riots had been improperly sentenced after admitting to a non-violent misdemeanor. The courts’ decision could potentially impact hundreds of similar cases.

North Carolina’s James Little was given both a prison sentence and probation related to a misdemeanor for parading. Although Little strolled within the Capitol Building on January 6 without any violent actions, he was given a 60-day prison term followed by an extensive three years of probation.

The D.C. appeals court concluded with a 2-1 vote on Friday that probation and imprisonment “may not be imposed as a single sentence” for a minor offense, noting “there are separate options on the menu,” as stated by the Associated Press. Judge Robert Wilkins, nominated by Obama, cast the only opposing vote.

“The Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 ‘comprehensively’ outlines the federal sentencing scheme,” the court noted. “Notice that imprisonment plus probation is not an available option. That’s because the list of sentences is disjunctive (‘probation . . . fine . . .or . . . imprisonment’), indicating that the options on the menu are alternatives that cannot be combined,” the court added.

Federal Court Case of J6



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