Zip-tie rioter gets measly 2 years

Larry Brock, 55, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel from Texas, is one of two Capitol rioters seen with zip-tie handcuffs in the Senate chamber during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection. (See photo at left.) He entered the Capitol Building decked out in combat gear.

On Friday, March 17, 2023, a federal judge sentenced him to 24 months in prison (read story here). It isn’t nearly enough.

Why? Because of what he intended to do, as evidenced by his own words.

In U.S. law, criminality is based on behavior and intent. For example, the difference between murder and manslaughter is whether the defendant intended to kill the victim or did so unintentionally with reckless conduct. The penalties are different depending on what the accused’s intent was.

Here’s what Brock intended:

“Prosecutors have revealed that convicted Capitol rioter Larry Brock concocted a bloodthirsty plan to seize power on January 6th, 2021 that involved taking hostages, arresting journalists, and cutting off food and water to cities where Democratic voters lived.”

(See his written “plans” here, and read more of his chilling statements here.)

This man is plainly dangerous, not only to our democracy and elected leaders, but to me personally because I live in one of those cities. And frankly, I don’t like being targeted for “elimination.”

So why didn’t the judge give Brock more time? Because under American law people only get prosecuted for what they’ve done, not for what they were thinking or may have intended to do. And what Brock did, for sentencing purposes, was “obstruct an official proceeding.” Which gets him only two years.

What about the other “zip-tie guy”? His name is Eric Gavelek Munchel (photo, right), he’s 32, and is a former bartender from Tennessee who, after losing his job, sought court permission to work as an UberEats delivery driver while awaiting trial. See story here and a list of charges against him here.

In my book, the two “zip-tie guys” are among the worst of the Jan. 6 insurrectionists. They obviously intended to handcuff members of Congress and deliver them to the lynch mob waiting outside. As would-be kidnappers and murderers, they belong among the Capitol rioter defendants getting the longest sentences.

Brock, in particular, violated his military oath to serve and defend the United States, by seeking to overthrow the government. Will he lose his military pension? Probably not, from how I understand the law. Under the Hiss Act, he would lose his pension if convicted of sedition (details here), but not for his “official proceeding” offense or any of the five lesser crimes (i.e., misdemeanors) he was convicted of.

I classify him as a lucky bastard who got off far more easily than he deserves. He gets to keep his military rank and pension, will probably serve a little over a year behind bars and then be paroled, and almost certainly won’t face the military court-martial he richly deserves (which could strip him of rank and pension, and bring him additional imprisonment).

That’s not much for what he intended to do to millions of loyal Americans whose only “crime” is believing in democracy more than he does.

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