January 6th is a day that will live on in many Americans’ memories as a very impactful day for the country. In the months since the insurrection, hundreds of individuals have been tracked down and charged with various crimes regarding their participation, and some of the sentences have been harsh.

James Little: Parading Illegally at the Capital

One individual who has been charged with crimes regarding his participation in the insurrection, James Little, has recently made a fuss of himself in the court system, saying that his ultimate sentencing regarding January 6th was unfair.

Source: Wikimedia/Tyler Merbler from USA

James Little is a 53-year-old North Carolina truck driver who was charged with a misdemeanor after pleading guilty of illegally parading at the Capital during the January 6th riot. His sentence was first handed down in early 2022, where he was charged with 60 days in prison and three years of probation.

A Petition to the Court

Little spent his time ahead of his sentencing in prison, and by the time the formal judgment came in August of 2023, he had already served his time behind bars and about half of his probation. As a result, Little petitioned the court to ask if he could serve the rest of his probation as a relatively free man.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

While most judges would look at prison time spent as punishment enough, particularly for a misdemeanor crime, Judge Royce C. Lamberth – a Reagan appointee – looked at Little’s petition and instead of reducing his sentence, he doubled it.

Another Sixty Days, Sir

Little was sentenced to another 60 days in prison, but there were mitigating circumstances behind what seems like a harsh judgment from Lamberth. When a prisoner requests for their sentence to be shortened, it’s generally because they have thought on what they did, and they feel remorse for the crime that they were initially charged with.

Source: Diego M. Radzinschi / ALM

According to Lamberth and prison officials familiar with Little and his case, he did not display the sort of remorse that would constitute a reduced sentence. According to prison staff, during his time incarcerated, Little was blatant in his disdain for his sentence, repeatedly claiming that his free speech rights were being violated by Lamberth and the government.

Improper Use of Facebook

Additionally, during his prison time Little evidently used his internet access to post on Facebook, claiming without merit that there was FBI involvement in the January 6th attack. He went further to paint himself as a “political prisoner” and compared himself to Vietnam veterans who were shunned by their friends and families after returning home.

Source: Pexels/Pixabay

Little also promoted a false campaign claiming that Democrats and the Biden administration were engaged in an operation to rig the 2024 campaign, following the same political rhetoric that Trump perpetuated ahead of the 2020 election.

A Probation Officer Speaks

A probation officer, when asked about Little’s mindset and attitudes, wrote to the court and stated that Little had not demonstrated the proper sort of remorse that would allow for a reduced sentence.

Source: Wikimedia/Tyler Merbler from USA

The officer wrote that Little refused to take responsibility for his actions, and that his behavior was consistent with an entitlement attitude. He also would voice invalid excuses when reminded of the fine that he had yet to pay for his charge, and repeatedly would claim that he felt that his voice was being silenced by the justice system.

Dozens of January 6 Sentences

Lamberth has presided over dozens of January 6th sentencing and trials in the months since the attempt to stall the constitutional obligations of Congress, and in a statement, he said that in 37 years on the bench, he had never seen a time where such meritless excuses for blatant criminal conduct had gone mainstream.

Source: Wikimedia/January 6 Committee

In addressing Little in court, Lamberth told him that he had a constitutional right to believe that the 2020 election was stolen, and he also had a constitutional right to talk about it, in whatever way he saw fit. However, neither of those facts are justification for participating in an insurrection and engaging in riotous behavior at the capital.

Further Arguments Erased

Lamberth further decimated Little’s argument, which claimed that Jacob Chansley, the so-called QAnon shaman, was a fellow persecuted and prosecuted January 6th patriot. Lamberth was the judge in the Jacob Chansley case, and this particular comment was more provoking than others.

Source: Wikimedia/US Department of Justice

He explained this to Little, informing him that Lamberth was the judge in that case, and therefore he knew personally that Chansley was not persecuted, or prosecuted improperly for his participation in the January 6th riot.

Further Appeals Coming

Little’s attorney claimed that Lamberth assigning further jail time after the sentence had already been served could violate the constitutional prohibition on double jeopardy for the same crime, and stated that he would be appealing on behalf of his client on those grounds.

Source: Wikimedia/Tyler Merbler from USA

Lamberth on the other hand, spoke scathingly from the bench, stating that he was worried about further danger to the country, given Little’s and other’s attempt to rewrite the history and intent of what happened on January 6th. He called out Elise Stefanik, a representative from New York, in particular, for calling these individuals “hostages.”

The Justice System Goes On

While the justice system may, at times, seem unfair to those who get caught in the crosshairs, for individuals like Little, the punishment is just for the crime. He, along with hundreds of others who have pled guilty to their participation in the January 6th riot in one way or another, and facing the consequences for poor decisions.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore from Surprise

Even the man they marched on the capital for, Donald Trump, is not immune to persecution for his participation in the January 6th riot. While Trump’s trial is still pending and the outcome is not yet clear, these smaller individuals are finding out exactly what it means when you go up against the United States government, and lose.