ADELMAN PUT HINCKLEY AWAY FOR GOOD
BY ROBERT L. PACK '67
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Adelman recalls "the phenomenon that the whole world was watching"
the Hinckley trial. Unlike most lawyers, Adelman purposely avoided following
any of the extensive media coverage of the case, although he went back
and read much of it after the trial. He didn't want to be influenced by
what the press was saying—difficult then and nearly impossible now
with minute-by-minute news cycles that last 24 hours a day, every day
of the year. Jurors found Hinckley not guilty by reason of insanity for
his attack on President Reagan and the others; Hinckley has been confined
at D.C.'s St. Elizabeth's Hospital ever since.
The route Adelman took to the most coveted prosecutorial assignments at
the nation's seat of power occurred almost by default. After graduating
from Dartmouth in 1963 he wasn't sure what he wanted to do, so he decided
to go to law school "sort of by a process of elimination. I didn't
have any knowledge of the law, I didn't know many lawyers, I just decided
that I wanted to get a disciplined education." Born and raised in
Norristown, and with the expectation that he would ultimately practice
in Pennsylvania, he says Penn was the only law school he applied to.