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Prosecutors with the Department of Justice (DOJ) are advocating for a 40-year sentence for David DePape, who attacked Paul Pelosi, husband of former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in 2022. 

This recommendation was detailed in a memorandum, in which prosecutors stated, “The sentence imposed must accomplish both specific and general deterrence.”  

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DePape, convicted last November of assault and kidnapping, broke into the Pelosi residence on October 28, 2022, seeking the then-Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. Finding only her husband at home, DePape attacked him with a hammer, resulting in Paul Pelosi sustaining a skull fracture and injuries to his arms, which required hospitalization.

In their legal filings, prosecutors highlighted the need to address the increasing “extremism” that jeopardizes public officials. They stated, “At a time when extremism has led to attacks on public and elected officials, this case presents a moment to speak to others harboring ideologically motivated violent dreams and plans.” They added, “This case presents strong deterrent value to say that violent ideological attacks will be punished to the full extent of the law.”

Despite his motives, DePape apologized in court, clarifying that Paul Pelosi was “never” his intended target. Prosecutors are now pushing to classify his actions as terrorism, arguing DePape “intended to promote a federal crime of terrorism and therefore, the terrorism enhancement should apply here.” 

DePape’s sentencing is scheduled for May 17, a date set to conclude a case that has captured national attention due to its violent and political connotations.


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