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IN CAREER-DEFINING CASE,
ADELMAN PUT HINCKLEY AWAY FOR GOOD
BY ROBERT L. PACK '67
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It's the Hinckley case for which Adelman is no doubt best-known. Chuck Ruff, a celebrated lawyer who was then the U.S. Attorney for D.C., chose Adelman after Reagan and several others were shot and wounded by Hinckley in March 1981, because Adelman had tried numerous murder cases, many of them involving insanity pleas, during the then 12 years he had been a prosecutor.

While preparing for that case Adelman, along with Ruff's successor as U. S. Attorney, Stanley Harris, spent about half an hour in the Oval Office going over the events with President Reagan (a potential witness) and his advisers, including Michael Deaver, Fred Fielding and James Baker. Adelman outlined how the trial would be conducted, and although the President was fascinated and wanted to hear all about the case, it was mutually agreed between Adelman and Harris on the one hand and the Reagan team on the other that the President would not testify. As Adelman puts it, "We had a videotape of him being shot," so there was no real need for Reagan to take the witness stand. That case was unusual, says Adelman, in that he and the prosecutors who assisted him spent over a year on U.S. v. Hinckley, although ordinarily, even on complex murder cases, they would have been handling several matters simultaneously.
 
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