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Senate panel sits down to review insanity pleas

Three days after John W. Hinckley Jr. was acquitted by reason of insanity for shooting President Reagan, the Senate called a hearing on changing the law governing insanity pleas - with three jurors as witnesses.

Reform of the insanity law has been a hot topic in Congress for some time, and some proposals were introduced before Mr. Reagan was shot. The current subcommittee hearing could introduce an amendment to a bill - already approved by the full Judiciary panel - that tightens the rules for insanity pleas.

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The jurors told the committee Thursday their verdict would have been the same even if President Reagan had been killed.