First episode of thirteen in a series. A documentary examining the changing legal rulings on the insanity plea. This program looks at John Hinckley's insanity acquittal, Dan White's diminished capacity verdict, and comments by legal experts, politicians, psychiatrists, and those acquitted on the basis of insanity. Sponsored by the Pacifica Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation with funding from the Deer Creek Foundation, St. Louis, Missouri, and the California Council for the Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Bicentennial Edition researched, edited, and produced by Adi Gevins; engineered by David Rapkin; announcer Kathy McAnally; John Hinckley's letter read by Kim Aubrey. Original program produced by Adi Gevins and Ginna Allison, 1983.
Folio description: John Hinckley’s acquittal on the grounds of insanity and Dan White’s diminished-capacity verdict exploded an ongoing constitutional conflict into major headlines. Since Hinckley’s assassination attempt on President Reagan, new federal law and many states have restricted their criteria for the insanity defense. This program uses live news coverage of the assassination attempt by Hinckley and the assassinations by White; recordings of congressional hearings on the insanity defense; comments by legal experts, politicians, psychiatrists and people found not guilty by reason of insanity; dramatic readings; and penetrating analysis by philosophers and historians to present insight into some of the fundamental principles upon which our law is based. Participants and consultants include Jerry Neu, Associate Professor of Philosophy, UC Santa Cruz; Norman Dain, Professor of History, Rutgers; Peter Arenella, Professor of Law, UCLA; Herbert Fingarette, Professor of Philosophy, UCSB; Alan Stone, Professor of Law & Psychiatry, Harvard; Alan Dershowitz, Professor of Law & Psychiatry, Harvard. Bicentennial Edition produced by Adi Gevins, 1987; original program produced by Adi Gevins & Ginna Allison, 1983.