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Before and After Hinckley

The insanity acquittal of John Hinckley in June, 1982 for the attempted assassination of then President, Ronald Reagan, sparked a flurry of legislative rhetoric and public inquiry about how to stop such "abuses."

State and federal legislators, buttressed by professional associations' resolutions for reform, responded with a wide array of proposals for statutory reform insanity defense. Based on six years of research--which constituted the largest study ever conducted of insanity defense pleas in the U.S.--this book describes the impact of the reforms instituted both before and after Hinckley's assassination attempt. In so doing, the volume offers the most authoritative, empirically sound answers to controversial questions about who uses the insanity defense, about its presumed abuses, and about what really happens when legislators respond to public pressure to tighten statutes.

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