James Brady's Death Ruled Homicide

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 8 2014 6:23 PM

Death of James Brady, Who Was Shot 33 Years Ago and Died This Week, Ruled Homicide

rtr2kmib
Brady in 2011.

Larry Downing/Reuters

James Brady, the White House press secretary-turned-gun control activist who was shot in 1981 during John Hinckley's attempt to kill Ronald Reagan, died this week. Today the Virginia medical examiner's office ruled that Brady's death was a homicide. Per a New York Times reporter in Washington D.C., the D.C. police department is also "investigating" the death as a homicide.

The logical conclusion here is that John Hinckley may be charged with Brady's murder, though no one in a position of authority seems to have said as much. (From the Washington Post: "Bill Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office, said prosecutors are reviewing the ruling and that his office 'has no further comment at this time.'") Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity in 1982 (he appears to only have been charged for his attacks on Reagan and a Secret Service officer who also survived after being shot). He is institutionalized at a D.C. psychiatric hospital—but he's allowed to leave to visit his mother, so perhaps a new prosecution is being pursued by a person or group that believes he's being treated with too much lenience.

Advertisement

Of course, as one of my colleagues just pointed out, if he was insane when he shot Ronald Reagan, then he was insane when he shot James Brady, and that shouldn't change a psychiatric institution's evaluation of what he's allowed to do in 2014. But then a different colleague who has a law degree said a different jury might rule differently on the insanity question. Which is all to say: This story is developing.

Ben Mathis-Lilley edits the Slatest. Follow @Slatest on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 11:40 AM The U.S. Has Spent $7 Billion Fighting the War on Drugs in Afghanistan. It Hasn’t Worked. 
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 21 2014 11:27 AM There Is Now a Real-life Hoverboard You Can Preorder for $10,000
  Life
Quora
Oct. 21 2014 11:37 AM What Was It Like to Work at the Original Napster?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Behold
Oct. 21 2014 12:05 PM Same-Sex Couples at Home With Themselves in 1980s America
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 10:43 AM Social Networking Didn’t Start at Harvard It really began at a girls’ reform school.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.