January 3, 2015

"He’s haunted by what it is that he did when he was not well, and getting well carries with it a real burden."

"You begin to understand the consequences of your acts. At the time, he didn’t really appreciate all of that."

Said John W. Hinckley Jr.'s lawyer, on the occasion of the decision not to try Hinckley for the murder of James Brady. Hinckley shot Brady in 1981, and Brady died last year. Hinckley has been hospitalized since his 1982 trial, at which the jury found him not guilty by reason of insanity.

ADDED: If Hinckley were tried now, he would be the focus of sympathy and many people would be moved to pity him. If you want him locked up for life, the better approach is to leave him in the shadows.

24 comments:

David said...

I do not think that he yet appreciates that one of the consequences of his act should be that justifiably nobody trusts him, which should lead to his continued institutionalization.

chickelit said...

It may be hard to appreciate consequences when their are none. Maybe Hinckley wanted to be institutionalized and got what he wanted.

The Drill SGT said...

I was telling the wife last night when our local (DC) news reported the story.

I suspect that the SS and the DOJ are still confident that they have enough juice that Hinckley isn't going to see freedom...

Lyle said...

Oh yeah, and he tried to kill Reagan. Plenty of progressives would support him just for that reason.

campy said...

"Oh yeah, and he tried to kill Reagan. Plenty of progressives would support him just for that reason."

They hate him because he failed.

SJ said...

Wait a minute.

Hinckley shot Brady more than 30 years ago.

Brady died last year.

Can Hinckley be charged with homicide? Were the wounds serious enough to be a significant factor in Brady's death, 33 years afterwards?

CatherineM said...

I was in the 6th grade when the shooting took place so I don't remember how things were reported. Did they focus on gun control then like they do now?

Michael K said...

It's amazing the psychiatrists haven't yet declared him "cured."

Laslo Spatula said...

Did Hinckley shooting the President for her cause Jodie Foster to swear off men for good?

Or was being in "Taxi Driver" with Harvey Keitel enough for that?

I am Laslo.

azbadger said...

Many problems with prosecuting Hinkley today. Although the year and a day rule has been abrogated in DC, it was the law at the time of the shooting. In any event, 33 years is a steep hill for the prosecution to prove causation. Also, there's the Ashe v. Swenson collateral estoppel problem. A jury necessarily decided a fact (insanity) that had already been litigated in the defendant's favor.

Gahrie said...

I was in the 6th grade when the shooting took place so I don't remember how things were reported. Did they focus on gun control then like they do now?

Welll...they did name the major control law the Brady Bill.......

madAsHell said...

Did they focus on gun control then like they do now?

No, Secretary of State Al Haig declared that he was in control, and that became the story.

mikee said...

But Hinckley apparently is allowed to leave the institution on a frequent basis for relatively unsupervised visits to his parents.

You say involuntarily committed, I say not enough so.

Anonymous said...

Lyle
Oh yeah, and he tried to kill Reagan. Plenty of progressives would support him just for that reason.

The year after Reagan got shot, I was back in my hometown visiting my parents. I dropped in on a childhood friend, who happens to be black. Her sister was also visiting. I don't recall the precise words her sister used, but her sister definitely conveyed her opinion that she was neither upset nor sad that Reagan had been shot. More along the line that he deserved it.

In support of his aunt, my friend's elementary age son pointed out that the Reagan Administration had classified ketchup to be a vegetable.

I was surprised at the sister's comments, and said nothing.
My friend did not echo her sister, but said nothing.

This family definitely belonged in the Talented Tenth that W. E. B. Du Bois and others had written about. Both the sister and my friend's son have published a number of books.

In later years I have read some statements attesting to blacks not being all that upset about Reagan getting shot, and I have said to myself, yeah, I know what they are talking about.

retired said...

People acquitted by reason of insanity should de jure be treated in a mental hospital as long as their sentence would have been if they had been convicted. No day trips etc..

Larry J said...

Lyle said...
Oh yeah, and he tried to kill Reagan. Plenty of progressives would support him just for that reason.


Hell, they'd throw him a parade. There's no hate like liberal hate.

Swifty Quick said...

Of course the government would be collaterally estopped from prosecuting Hinckely for Brady's death. Holder and the career prosecutors at DOJ surely already know this, so that's not the purpose in trying to prosecute him, or threatening to. The purpose is theater, and to throw a bone to the gunphobe contingency they've created out there, for which the bereaving widow Sara Brady just also so-happens to already be the posterchild, keeping them stirred up and agitated, all in an effort to continue to advance their agenda. Being bounced from court helps their cause by allowing them to continue to whine in indignant outrage about weak, ineffective, and unjust laws, how victims are treated in the system. Constitution be damned, on several levels.

The Godfather said...

At the time of Brady's death, there was a fairly extensive discussion on the Volokh Conspiracy blog about whether Hinckley could be tried his for murder. As I recall, the conclusion was probably no, but there were plausible arguments for yes.

What I always wondered about was why the insanity defense was raised. If Hinckley had been tried for attempted murder and three or four cases of assault with a deadly weapon and whatever other charges were relevant at the time, wouldn't his sentence have been less than the 33 years he's been incarcerated at St. E's? None of the victims was killed.

The Godfather said...

In my previous post, I meant "convicted" where I wrote "tried".

Robert Cook said...

I remember reading a long article about Hinckley a few months after he was committed. I had been skeptical of his insanity plea, but after reading the article, I remember being convinced that he was, in fact, nuts.

Jason said...

So is Jodie Foster finally impressed?

I mean, what the hell does it take!?!?!

Robert Cook said...

A change of gender, before anything else.

CatherineM said...

I feel like such an idiot forgetting the Brady Bill, but I was thinking more about the coverage of blaming someone (the NRA, violent movies) like they do today (video games and Sarah Palin).

The TV show the Americans has an episode in season 1 called In Control that shows (fictional) Russian spies reacting to the Reagan shooting, trying to determine whether it was just an unfortunate violent incident or the opening salvo in a Seven Days in May–style takeover of the White House by the U.S. military (led by Haig), one predicated on the falsehood that the USSR put Hinckley up to the shootings. Fun show.

Jason said...

Well, a change of gender at taxpayer expense is guaranteed now, under Medicare, thanks to libtards who can't imagine that we might have something better to do with American's money than addadictomes and addavadgetomes for geezers.