A Thousand Years of Prison Time Over a 6-Hour Delay of Congress

Yes you read that correctly.  Every student of the First Amendment knows about the infamous Alien and Sedition Acts, the Palmer Raids of World War I, the railroading of the Chicago 7, crackdowns on anti-war movements, and the FBI’s infamous COINTELPRO abuses and surveillance of Martin Luther King and the Black Panthers.

But the single greatest mass infringement on fundamental First Amendment freedoms is happening right now. But the civil liberties establishment, which rakes in millions annually parroting the civil rights talking points of the 1970s, has turned its back on the greatest mass political persecution in American legal history: the railroading of January 6 defendants.

As these words are written, the US District Court for DC is approaching a grim milestone: sometime in the next few weeks, a total of a thousand years of prison time will have been handed out to J6ers.  January 6 injustices are eclipsing all other American legal disgraces.

I myself am a J6 criminal defense attorney who has written hundreds of motions and participated in eight J6 jury trials.  Although I have a comparatively winning record among other J6 defense lawyers—measured by total counts defeated adversely—I and my co-counsels have nonetheless lost every case.

After three years of litigation, the conviction rate for J6ers is 100 percent before juries; and 99.5+ percent before judges.  This may go down as the very highest conviction rate for any specific category of criminal case in any court venue in US history.  The DC venue does not offer fair trials for opponents of the government who are deemed to be conservative, rightwing, or Republican.

The average prison sentences for J6ers are by far the longest in American history associated with rioting or demonstrating.  Prison sentences associated with the Civil Rights movement, anti-war riots, labor demonstrations, or Red scares don’t even come close. None of the Civil War’s confederate leadership served as much prison time as an average J6er who simply pushed against a police riot shield outside the Capitol on January 6. (Jefferson Davis himself served only two years.)

The longest prison term stemming from the infamous Alien and Sedition Act prosecutions of the 1790s—which every law student learns were the most tyrannical abuses of speech and political expression in early America—was 18 months. The longest term served by Black Panthers who chased out the California legislature from the State Capitol with assault weapons in 1967 was one year in jail.

Compare Eugene V. Debs’ ten-year prison sentence handed down in 1918 for sedition, to the 22-year prison sentence of Proud Boy leader Enrique Tarrio for seditious conspiracy stemming from January 6.  Debs’ sedition conviction involved claims that Debs’ anti-war speeches undermined America’s military preparedness during World War I.  (Note that President Harding commuted Debs’ sentence in 1921.)

Today, civil libertarians regard Debs’ conviction as a stain on the history of the First Amendment.  But Enrique Tarrio wasn’t even at the Capitol on Jan. 6; he was watching the events on the news from a Baltimore motel room. 

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