The Washington D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that a Jan.6-related conviction should not be overturned because of the city’s large Democratic population.

The court ruled against former New York City police officer Thomas Webster who argued he was convicted as a result of a biased, Democratic-leaning jury pool. Webster was given a ten-year sentence after being convicted on six felony counts, including assaulting a police officer with a flag pole during the Jan. 6 riots.

“The political inclinations of a populace writ large say nothing about an individual’s ability to serve impartially in adjudicating the criminal conduct of an individual,” Obama appointee Patricia Millet wrote in the decision alongside Trump appointees Greg Katsas and Noemi Rao.

 

Webster moved to change the trial venue, saying that he could not get an impartial jury in Washington, D.C.

“The District’s jury pool was simply too Democratic, too connected to the federal government, and too steeped in January 6th news coverage to produce twelve unbiased jurors,” Webster cited according to court documents.

In 2020, 92% of Washington, D.C., voters elected President Joe Biden, while only 5.4% voted for Trump. In Washington, D.C., 56% of adults identify as Democrats while only 28% identify as Republicans, according to a Pew Research Center poll.

In New York City, where Trump is currently being tried for unrelated charges, 56% of adults identify as Democrats and 26% of adults identify as Republicans, while 18% of adults report they have no political leaning, according to a Pew Research Center poll. 

U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves devoted significant resources to prosecuting Jan. 6 cases. Since 2021, there have been more than 1265 defendants charged in nearly all 50 states and Washington, D.C., according to the Washington D.C. US Attorney’s Office.

In 2023, the Washington D.C. US Attorney’s Office only secured 567 violent felony convictions, with 213 felony cases pertaining to the Jan. 6 riots. Of the 749 federal Jan. 6 defendants who received sentences, 467 of them were sentenced to periods of incarceration according to the same report.

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