About the Indiana Grandmother Forced to "Confess" to Her Wrong-Think at Sentencing for Her January 6 Actions

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Running the risk again of ending up walking into a dark tunnel with a small light seemingly headed my direction, I’m not quite on board with the sentiment about that poor “Grandmother from Indiana” woman caught up in the criminal justice system — all she wanted to do was support President Trump — and what she got for her trouble was a three-year sentence of probation and a forced admission that she had spent time reading and contemplating the errors of her thinking pre-January 6.

I wrote about the sentencing of Anna Morgan-Lloyd by federal District Court Judge Royce Lamberth in this earlier story.

When I did so, I left out the part of the quoted article that set forth her words in a letter she wrote to the Judge prior to the sentencing hearing.  What she said in this part of her letter now has the center-right media in a bit of an uproar.  Here is the fuller section of the Associated Press story that covered her sentencing hearing:

In a letter to the judge asking for leniency, Lloyd wrote that she was a registered Democrat but that she and her husband began supporting Trump in 2016 because “he was standing up for what we believe in.”

After her arrest, Lloyd’s lawyer gave her a list of books and movies to help her “see what life is like for others in our country,” Lloyd wrote. Lloyd said she has sought to educate herself by watching movies such as “Schindler’s List” and the History Channel’s “Burning Tulsa” and reading Bryan Stevenson’s “Just Mercy.”

“I’ve lived a sheltered life and truly haven’t experienced life the way many have,” Lloyd wrote. “I’ve learned that even though we live in a wonderful country things still need to improve. People of all colors should feel as safe as I do to walk down the street.”

Nothing in that statement suggests the Government or Court had anything to do with her “re-education.”

She’s from Indiana, a very Red state, yet she’s a lifelong Democrat.  I suspect she voted for Barack Obama twice.

President Trump’s campaign rhetoric in the 2016 election cycle appealed to a significant number of registered Democrats who became disenchanted during the Obama years.

But she spent her adulthood as a supporter of the policies of the Democrat Party of Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama even if she made the decision to vote for Donald Trump rather than Hillary Clinton and/or Joe Biden.

I have looked (briefly) online to see if I could find the name of her defense attorney but had no luck.

I suspect with a high level of confidence that the urging of Morgan-Lloyd to read these books and make the comments she made to the court in her letter are a function of her defense attorney’s strategy to make sure she received a sentence of only probation and no jail time.

This is Washington DC.  The attorneys who regularly handle federal criminal defense cases in that Court are not a “Who’s Who” of staunch legal conservatives who are going to urge their clients to “fight the good fight” and continue to advocate for the message of President Trump. This cadre of attorneys are going to be overwhelmingly liberal, and their tactic to gain favorable treatment for their clients — which is their job — is going to be to minimize their criminal responsibility by suggesting they are a bunch of rubes and dopes who were taken advantage of by others and bamboozled into acting out their assigned roles in someone else’s January 6 political freak show on Capitol Hill.

The defense attorneys, with a handful of exceptions (winking at you MM), are going to denounce the actions of the mob on January 6, but then try to isolate their individual clients from major responsibility.

Expressions of contrition, regret, and remorse for one’s criminal deeds, combined with the dawn of new enlightenment and a pledge to never offend again, are all “stock-in-trade” of a criminal defense attorney trying to persuade a sentencing judge to impose the shortest possible sentence.

Under federal sentencing law, a defendant must “accept responsibility” after a guilty plea.  The worst thing a defendant can do is plead guilty, and to express to the Court that the plea was a matter of convenience and that the defendant doesn’t really regret the criminal misconduct just admitted to.

I understand the center-right media narrative about her “re-education” that has popped up after Morgan-Lloyd’s words got some airtime.  But it is a misleading narrative about her that is no less “false” than the media narratives run by the dominant media to pursue President Trump for four years

This kind of “I’m so sorry, I’ve learned my lesson, and I promise to never do anything to land myself back in front of you, Judge, so help me God” is standard procedure for a criminal defendant and her lawyer.  There was nothing shocking about Anna Morgan Lloyd making comments like that as part of the effort to achieve exactly what she achieved — a sentence with no jail time.