Thursday, March 30, 2006

25 years since Hinkley ...

Today is the 25th anniversary of John Hinckley’s shooting of President Ronald Reagan. This case’s impact on the insanity defense has been phenomenal.

On April 19, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear an insanity defense case for the first time since the Hinckley case led to the change in so many state laws. The case centers around Eric Clark, a young man with schizophrenia. Clark killed a Flagstaff, Arizona, police officer during a traffic stop and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

As with about 50 percent of those with schizophrenia, Clark lacked insight into his illness - he didn't know he was sick, and in fact thought that Flagstaff was being invaded by aliens.

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