For the past three years, defendants facing charges related to the Jan. 6 Capitol protests have sought to move their trials out of the District of Columbia due to concerns about biased jurors.
Government prosecutors and judges have argued that there’s no evidence to suggest a fair trial can’t be conducted in Washington.
Survey shows bias among potential D.C. jurors towards Jan. 6 Protesters
However, the results of a recent study conducted by Triton Polling and Research between Jan. 1-8, exclusively obtained by The Epoch Times, reveal an extreme level of bias among potential jurors residing in Washington, D.C.
In the survey of 422 “jury eligible residents,” a significant portion had highly biased views of those who participated in the Jan. 6 protests.
Specifically, 27.5% described the protesters as “insurrectionists,” 13% labeled them as “criminals,” 14.9% referred to them as “domestic terrorists,” and 11.6% called them “traitors.”
The majority believed that former President Donald Trump was to blame for the events of Jan. 6, with 75% strongly agreeing and 76.6% strongly agreeing that Trump’s supporters are racists.
Public opinion on penalties for Jan. 6 events revealed
Additionally, 63.6% believed that Jan. 6 was “an act of terrorism.”
When informed that “the penalty for insurrection, treason, or committing an act of domestic terrorism is life imprisonment or death,” 26.9% strongly agreed, and 21.1% somewhat agreed that these penalties would be a fair punishment for anyone involved in the events of Jan. 6.
Most participants (51.4%) strongly agreed that anyone who participated in the events at the Capitol on Jan. 6 should serve prison time.
Survey unveils strong bias and legal implications
The survey also revealed a strong bias against former President Trump, with 78.6% holding a “very unfavorable” opinion of him.
In contrast, only 12% expressed a similarly unfavorable view of President Joe Biden.
Edward Jacob “Jake” Lang, a Jan. 6 defendant who commissioned the survey, intends to use the results in court to support a change of venue motion prepared by his attorney.
He believes that this data could potentially overturn the convictions of many Jan. 6 defendants, emphasizing the need for trials to be held outside the District of Columbia to ensure a fair process.
Challenges in Jan. 6 trials and ongoing venue debate
As of the most recent data available, 1,241 people have been charged in connection with the Jan. 6 protests, with 905 convictions, 768 sentences, and 322 cases pending.
Only one defendant has been acquitted. Notably, over half of the defendants who chose bench trials rather than jury trials with Washington residents were convicted.
The extreme bias revealed among potential jurors in Washington, D.C., poses significant challenges for Jan. 6 defendants seeking a fair trial.
As concerns over impartiality continue to mount, the debate over whether these trials should be moved to other venues remains a critical issue in the ongoing legal proceedings.