John W. Hinckley Jr.'s 15-month journey through the criminal justice system could end up costing the government and Hinckley's parents more than $3 million.
All the bills are not in, but the security costs since Hinckley's arrest on March 30, 1981, will be more than $1 million. That includes about $947,000 for the U.S. marshals who guarded Hinckley and $148,000 for the federal Bureau of Prisons for Hinckley's imprisonment before his trial.
The extensive role played by psychiatrists made the case one of the most expensive prosecutions in the history of the insanity defense.
The government has been billed more than $300,000 by three private psychiatrists and one psychologist who examined Hinckley and testified at the trial. Hinckley's defense lawyers also employed a team of six psychiatrists and psychologists. Two members of that team testified that they had reduced their fees substantially -- even though Hinckley's father is a millionaire -- but the estimated costs for their services probably will be at least $100,000 and perhaps closer to $200,000.
Hinckley's four lawyers, from the prestigious firm of Williams & Connolly, have not submitted a final bill, but their total likely will be in the range of $300,000 to $400,000.
The chief defense lawyer, Vincent J. Fuller, normally bills over $200 an hour for his services in court, but the defense lawyers are not going to bill the Hinckleys at an hourly rate, according to lawyers familiar with the firm's billing procedure.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger Adelman earns $57,500 a year, as does Richard Chapman, another prosecutor who spent full time on the case for months. A third prosecutor assisted them for the last several months as well.
There are countless other expenses that will be picked up by the Justice Department, the U.S. District Court and the Hinckleys. One of those expenses will be about $40,000 for jurors' costs. The 18 jurors and alternates received $30 a day for their service the first month and $35 a day for the second month. The courthouse cafeteria will bill the court about $4 a day for each juror's lunch. The jurors also received an additional $2 a day for travel and had single rooms at a local motel for the 4 1/2 days they were sequestered before concluding that Hinckley was not guilty by reason of insanity.
The Hinckleys and the government will split a $70,000 bill from the official court reporter, M. Eugene Olsen, for some 10,000 original pages of daily transcripts Olsen provided and some 130,000 copies of those transcripts. Olsen said he had to hire eight people full time to handle the massive reporting task.
Some costs, such as Judge Barrington Parker's time and the time of clerks and countless other courthouse and Justice Department personnel cannot be compiled with accuracy.
For example, the Federal Protective Service, which guards the courthouse, added an extra detail of four or five men throughout the trial, at a cost of about $30,000, according to a spokesman for the service. But those officers normally bring in revenue for the government by, among other things, writing tickets for errant parkers on federal property. Whatever revenue might have been generated by those officers during the eight-week trial is lost, the spokesman said.
Another major cost, both to the Justice Department and the District of Columbia government, is the thousands of hours put in by FBI agents and D.C. homicide detectives gathering evidence for the case and testifying in court.
Countless minor bills -- such as the General Services Administration's forthcoming bill to the court for air conditioning at night and on weekends, are still coming in. When those, plus the fees of other witnesses called in the case are included, the direct costs alone might amount to about $3 million. The indirect costs could push that figure much higher.