Capitol rioter lawyer argues for a lighter sentence because it could 'heal the nation'
Pro-Trump protesters seen inside Capitol building as they enter in through broken windows. (lev radin /

One of the first alleged suspects to plead guilty to crimes in connection with the U.S. Capitol insurrection has asked the court to grant him a lenient sentence. His reason for the request has caught the attention of social media users across the country.

According to The Daily Beast, Paul Hodgkins' attorney is asking for a "slap on the wrist" for his participation in the U.S. riots. In a sentencing memo to Judge Randolph D. Moss, the 38-year-old's defense attorney Patrick Leduc argued that a lighter sentence for his client might actually "heal" the nation.

"This case is the story of a man who represents all that we would want in our fellow Americans," Leduc said in the memo to Moss. "It is the story of [a] man who for just one hour on one day, lost his bearings and his way."

Leduc added, "A sentence that provides Paul Hodgkins 'charity' would go a very long way toward healing a nation in dire need of seeing what undeserved 'grace' looks like."

That claim is one of the many perplexing arguments in the defense's 32-page memo which also includes a declaration that says, "Hodgkins should not be cancelled."

He also argued that the court's handling of Hodgkins could set a new precedent and emphasize how the nation is "healing" during particular time.

"How this Court deals with Paul Hodgkins can stand as a symbol of what we are and, in the event 'charity' is given, what President Lincoln hoped we would always be: A nation that forgives, gives undeserved grace, and restoration that promotes healing," Leduc said.

Hodgkins' sentencing is only the second occurrence of someone actually facing real consequences for storming the Capitol.

Although Leduc insists a lenient sentence for his client could help the nation, Anna Morgan-Lloyd's sentence of three months probation following a guilty plea to one misdemeanor count of storming the federal building actually appears to have set the tone for cases going forward.

It's obvious because Hodgkins' legal team quickly seized the opportunity to present an argument along the same lines.