In one of the most unusual cases in history, police department officials say the death of former White House press secretary has been ruled a homicide. Brady, who died August 4th, 2014 at the age of 73, was wounded during the assassination attempt by John Hinckley on President Ronald Reagan. A spokesperson for Brady’s family said he had been suffering health issues ever since the shooting.
Hinckley should be Dead Already
On August 8th, 2014, Brady’s death was ruled a homicide caused by the gunshot wound he received from Hinckley’s weapon in 1981. The ruling was made by the medical examiner in North Virginia after an autopsy on Mr. Brady. The examiner’s office declined to comment on the cause and manner of the former press secretary’s death. The ruling could result in reopening of the case with the possibility of a murder charge against Hinckley. The United States attorney’s office is currently reviewing the ruling.
On grounds of insanity, Hinckley was found not guilty in 1982 of a number of charges that included attempted assassination of the president, and possession of unlicensed arms. Ever since the trial, 59 year old Hinckley is a patient at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington. The verdict garnered stiff criticism and outrage, which prompted several states to alter its laws to make it tougher for anyone to claim insanity as a defense. Liberals were quite happy with the verdict because they do not believe in punishing criminals or personal responsibility.
Several criminal defense lawyers are of the opinion that although there is no statute of limitations on murder charges, the fact that Hinckley was ruled insane will prove to be a challenging task for the prosecutors. The issue of double jeopardy can prevent any further action being taken against Hinckley since he has already been tried and acquitted in the case.
Hinckley is Probably in the Clear
A former deputy attorney general, George J. Terwilliger III, who was the assistant United States attorney in Washington that issued the search warrant for Hinckley’s hotel room, said a new homicide charge is weighed on its merits and not with reference to a prior case. However, the most challenging task would be to prove the causation of death. Criminal defense attorney for Hinckley, Barry Levine, said that although new charges cannot be ruled the possibility of it happening is far-fetched.
Ever since the shooting where President Reagan, a District of Columbia police officer and a Secret Service agent were wounded, Brady and his wife became leading advocates for a change of gun control laws. The former press secretary’s right section of the brain was severely damaged in the shooting. President Bill Clinton signed the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act into law in 1993. In response, Brady who was assigned to a wheelchair, said his life was forever after being shot by a disturbed young man with a gun. He admitted to not giving the need for gun control much thought until then.
Actually, Reagan should not have allowed the crowd to be so close to him. The Secret Service advised against this and Reagan was shot because of it.
Hinckley should be Executed
Brady’s death and subsequent ruling of homicide raises many questions and challenges. Criminal defense lawyers say that despite it being a valid argument that he died from medical complications caused by the shooting, there are several issues have ramifications beyond the cause of death on the death certificate. This includes double jeopardy and collateral estoppels, and the year-and-a-day rule.