Is he insane or not? A jury must resolve conflicting expert opinions this week to determine whether a man accused of trying to kill President Clinton was deranged when he opened fire on the White House.
Prosecutors maintained in closing arguments that Francisco Martin Duran, 26, of Colorado Springs, Colo., was an anarchist who repeatedly threatened the president's life before he left Colorado in a pickup truck Sept. 30.They say Duran intended to kill Clinton when he poked a semiautomatic rifle through the White House's wrought-iron fence and fired more than two dozen bullets on Oct. 29.
Duran "deliberately and intentionally planned to assassinate the president of the United States," prosecutor Brenda J. Johnson said.
"Francisco Duran was angry. Francisco Duran hated the government. . . . His anger, his hatred . . . all started when he was discharged from the military."
But the defense was prepared to cite testimony from two psychiatrists and a psychologist that Duran is a paranoid schizophrenic who thought he was saving the world by firing at what he thought was a "mist" hovering over the White House.
To reach a verdict jurors must decide whom to believe: three therapists who say Duran should be held accountable because he was perfectly sane when he opened fire, or three equally convincing therapists who believe Duran should be acquitted by reason of insanity.