Repercussions Of Hinckley’s Insanity Plea Reverberate To This Day
John Hinckley Jr., the man who tried to assassinate Ronald Reagan, was released this week, resurrecting the fierce debate over a defense tactic that is used much less frequently than the general population believes. NPR reports on the "not guilty for reasons of insanity" plea as well as the gun violence relationship to mental health.
After Hinckley, States Tightened Use Of The Insanity Plea
The insanity ruling that sent President Ronald Reagan's would-be assassin, John Hinckley Jr., to a government psychiatric hospital rather than prison was handed down 34 years ago, but its repercussions still affect hundreds, if not thousands, of people who commit a crime and also have mental illness. These consequences and the insanity defense itself were forced into the national spotlight again on Wednesday, when a federal judge said Hinckley would be released to live with his elderly mother in Williamsburg, Va. (Jacewicz, 7/28)
Gun Violence And Mental Health Laws, 50 Years After Texas Tower Sniper
For some people, the attack on police officers by a gunman in Dallas this summer brought to mind another attack by a sniper in Austin 50 years ago – on Aug. 1, 1966. That's when student Charles Whitman stuck his rifle over the edge of the clock tower at the University of Texas at Austin and started shooting. Ultimately, he killed 16 people — and wounded more than 30 others. For decades, people have struggled to figure out why. There have been theories about abuse, a brain tumor and, of course, mental illness. (Silverman, 7/29)