Death of James Brady, Reagan press secretary, ruled a homicide


I can’t see him being charged for murder in this.


I don’t know, if it can be determined that Mr. Brady died from complications ultimately traceable to the assassination attempt then perhaps it would be able to be tried as a murder case.

I will never forget that day. I had a paper route and I delivered newspapers and saw the headline every time I delivered a newspaper.



Hinckley was found not guilty for reason of insanity on all charges, including attempted homicide. I can’t imagine a new trial would be any different, so there would be little point in holding one.


Wouldn’t this fall under double jeopardy?

The case is the same as tried before, except the victim has since died.



No Murder is a new crime in this case. However, it would be impossible for the prosecution to get past the fact that Hinckley was ruled not guilty by the reason of insanity.


I’m just wondering if this ruling would have been made if it wasn’t James Brady. There must be hundreds, if not thousands, of gunshot victims who lived for years with the consequences of their wounds which eventually killed them.


I follow a legal blog, the Volokh Conspiracy that has a good rundown on all the issues, including double jeopardy. Here’s the one I find most interesting:

  1. The year-and-a-day rule: At common law, a murder charge required that “the death transpired within a year and a day after the [injury]” (see Ball v. United States (1891), and this apparently remains the federal rule (see United States v. Chase (4th Cir. 1994)). Many states have apparently rejected this rule, given the changes in modern medicine that make it much easier to decide whether an old injury helped cause a death; but though the Supreme Court in Rogers v. Tennessee (2001) held that a court could retroactively reject the rule without violating the Ex Post Facto Clause (which applies only to legislative changes to legal rules) and the Due Process Clause, any such retroactive rejection of the year-and-a-day rule seems unlikely in this case (given that for the rule to be reversed the case would likely need to go up to the Supreme Court, and that in any event the rule had been applied relatively recently, in Chase).

I think the coroner is being an idiot.
Let’s say I was hit by a drunk driver thirty years ago and suffered severe brain damage like Mr Brady, then died of a heart attack. No ME in the country would rule it a homicide.


Thanks for the link.



The anti-gun crusaders never stop. This coroner should be examined, I think. :o


How many thousands of names should now be added to the Viet Nam War memorial? :shrug: Rob


They do the same thing with smoking.


I don’t see why not, it just wouldn’t make the news.


Examined for what? :confused:


Incompetence and fraud. :wink: Rob


I don’t think you are considering the facts of cause and effect. If the actions of the attacker were the cause of the death, that is the definition of a homicide. Whether the victim lives a few hours, a few days, or many years is not relevant.

I suppose you could say there are no homicides at all. Someone who is shot and bleeds to death is not a homicide. He died of severe anemia. And someone who is strangled is also not a homicide, but merely a case of acute obstructive pulmonary disease.


Seems to be kind of a stretch. Brady was shot in 1981. Now he dies in 2014 and the coroner says the cause of death is a gunshot wound from 1981?


I don’t see how he could rule it a homicide.
Other posters have made good arguments about the coroner’s ruling being incorrect. Is he doing this for publicity and controversy?

I remember that day as well. I am sure James Brady’s life was never easy after suffering his gunshot injury. He was very brave.
If Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity I don’t understand how they can now charge Hinckley with murder.

I agree with RACJ-the coroner should be examined as to his determination of homicide.


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