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Exhibition Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustration

Freda Reiter. John Hinckley with Jodie Foster on Television, May 12, 1982. Pastel on white paper. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (031.00.00)
LC-DIG-ppmsca-51568 © Estate of Freda Reiter
Gift of the Roger M. Adelman Estate

President Ronald Reagan and John Hinckley

After the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981, by John Hinckley, his lawyer Vince Fuller used the insanity defense for his client: ruling on pretrial motions, U.S. v. Hinckley, 525 F.Supp. 1342 (1981). Hinckley refused to participate unless the actress with whom he was obsessed, Jodie Foster, testified. On March 30, 1982, Hinckley in his characteristic slump, shown by artist Freda Reiter, was present for Foster's testimony as it was videotaped, and again on May 12, 1982, when it was replayed during the trial. On June 21, 1982, Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity, and was transferred to St. Elizabeth's hospital in Washington, D.C., where he remained until he was released to his mother in September 2016.