On March 30, 1981, John Hinckley attempted to kill President Reagan. There were several witnesses to the shooting, and the evidence was overwhelming. Research this case and imagine yourself as Hinckley’s defense attorney.
- A. Apply the Model Penal Code test to this case to determine Hinckley’s mental state defense and what the jury’s verdict would have to be. Be sure to defend your response.
- B. After the Hinckley verdict was reached, many states opted for a new test to be utilized. The Insanity Defense Reform Act of 1984 shifted the burden of proof from prosecution to defense. Apply the present statutory test to the case. How do you believe the jury would vote if Hinckley were tried today? Why?
- C. What historical milestone case involving the Second Amendment emerged from the events of this situation? How has this case impacted the criminal justice practitioner?
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