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Pelosi attack increases fears of political violence

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posted on 2023-07-28, 18:51 authored by Rachel Zelicof

Background: What happened?

Paul Pelosi, husband of Nancy Pelosi, was attacked by 42 year-old David DePape, who “embraced false claims that the election was stolen in 2020.” [1] Paul Pelosi was attacked by DePape and was repeatedly struck with a hammer and suffered a skull fracture. According to law enforcement, the attack was intentionally targeted. [1] DePape forcefully entered Nancy and Paul Pelosi’s home and shouted “‘Where is Nancy?’” [3]

Results: What happens next for DePape?

According to the U.S. Code § 351, “if any person assaults a member of Congress, they shall be fined, imprisoned.” [4] DePape is facing charges of homicide and elder abuse. [1] He is expected to be arraigned on Tuesday with felony charges against him. [5]

Implications: What does this mean for other Congressmembers’ security?

Members of Congress are voicing their concerns about potential security threats. Republicans and Democrats are worried about the rising threats of political violence. Rep Adam Kizinger (R-IL) said “…the real concern is about those who act without warning.” [2] Rep Sarah Jacobs (D-CA) said “the attack certainly heightened my own concerns about personal safety.” [2] Many have proposed increased security measures such as having officers stationed outside congress members’ homes, yet no new regulations have been initiated. Law enforcement should continue to pursue DePape’s motives for the attack. Political violence has surfaced in American Democracy today more than it ever has in history. It is important to hold people accountable for their actions in American Democracy.



American University (Washington, D.C.); Juris Mentem Law Review


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