John Hinckley Won't Face Murder Charges in James Brady's Death

This 30 March 1981 file photo shows John Hinckley Jr. (L) escorted by police in Washington, DC, following his arrest after shooting and seriously wounding then US president Ronald Reagan. A federal judge ruled 17 December 2003 Hinckley can make local visits with his family from St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, DC, where he has been held. - / AFP/GETTY IMAGES

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Federal prosecutors have decided against filing any new charges against John Hinckley Jr. in the death of former White House spokesman James Brady. The case was re-opened earlier this year after a coroner's report concluded that shots fired by Hinckley during the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan in 1981 directly led to Brady's death this past August.

In 1982, Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity of all charges against him. Shortly thereafter he was committed to St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, where he remains today.

Prosecutors pointed out that any jury in a murder trial would be directed to consider that he was already found to be legally insane at the time of the incident and "the government would be precluded now from arguing that Hinckley was sane at the time he shot Mr. Brady. "

"The decision was made following a review of applicable law, the history of the case, and the circumstances of Mr. Brady’s death, including recently finalized autopsy findings," said a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington.


— Pete Williams and Hasani Gittens