Judge’s Mistake Leads to Resentencing Hearing In Pelosi Case

(IntegrityTimes.com) – On Friday May 17, 44-year-old David DePape was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the attempted kidnapping of Nancy Pelosi and his attack on her husband Paul Pelosi in October of 2022.

However, an important procedural error was made during his sentencing trial. All convicted persons have the right to speak on their own behalf before sentencing so they have a final opportunity to influence the outcome. DePape’s attorneys, the prosecutors and District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley all failed to bring this up until afterwards. As a result, there will need to be another federal sentencing trial for this case.

While Judge Corley has already scheduled the new sentencing trial for Tuesday May 28, DePape’s lawyers are fighting to prevent that. In addition to the federal crimes DePape was found guilty of, he also has a trial set to start next month regarding violations of state laws. San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins is handling the state case for which there are multiple felony charges including elder abuse and attempted murder. DePape’s defense attorneys claim that the new federal sentencing trial could interfere with his state trial.

DePape’s lawyers have already filed an appeal for his federal conviction and sentence. They argue that Corley’s new sentencing trial for DePape needs to be delayed until after the appeal has been resolved one way or the other. Due to possible delays caused by possible scheduling conflicts between his state trial and the new federal sentencing trial, his attorneys say his right to a fair trial may be compromised. Further, they have suggested that Corley has openly expressed “strong views” in the case and are asking for a new judge to preside over a new sentencing trial.

Procedural errors like this one can add a lot of complexity to even the most straightforward cases. With police bodycam footage, physical evidence, and statements by DePape himself, many saw his convictions as simple and inevitable. Mistakes can completely derail a trial at any stage.

In this case, it was at the last moment which could make a vast difference in the ultimate outcome. DePape’s legal team, who fought for a 14-year sentence, will have the extra time they have accidentally been granted to attempt to change the outcome. While Judge Corley explained what occurred in a court memo, she admitted that the responsibility for enforcing the defendant’s right to make a statement was ultimately hers alone.

Copyright 2024, IntegrityTimes.com