November 28th: What's On Today's Show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of today's Talk of the Nation: Thirty years after he was declared not guilty by reason of insanity, John Hinckley Jr. may go free. Plus, the Opinion Page. In today's second hour, children's author Judy Blume and more cracks in the U.S. - Pakistan relationship.
NPR logo November 28th: What's On Today's Show

November 28th: What's On Today's Show

John Hinckley Jr. arrives at U.S. District Court in Washington in this Nov. 18, 2003 file photo. Thirty years after he shot President Ronald Reagan and was declared not guilty by reason of insanity, Hinckley's doctors say he no longer poses a threat. EVAN VUCCI/ASSOCIATED PRESS hide caption

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What Happens To The Criminally Insane
Three decades after John Hinckley, Jr. shot President Reagan and was found not guilty by reason of insanity, his doctors and defense team say his mental illness is in remission and that he is no longer a threat to himself or the public. This week, Hinckley faces a hearing to determine whether or not he can be released from a mental health facility to care for his ailing mother. The case raises any number of questions about the role of the insanity defense and what happens to the criminally insane after they leave the courtroom. Host Neal Conan speaks with Washingtonian Magazine reporter Harry Jaffe, who has been writing about the push to release John Hinckley, Jr. Neal also speaks with psychiatrist Phillip Resnick about the clinical approaches to dealing with alleged criminals with mental health illnesses and with lawyer Lynda Frost about the scope and role of the insanity plea in the criminal justice system.

The Opinion Page
Egyptians stood in long lines at polling places today in the first parliamentary elections since the end of Hosni Mubarak's decades-long rule. The vote is being closely watched by the Arab world and Egypt's allies in the West. There is concern among some that the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood could rise to power and push Egypt away from secularism. In an op-ed in Sunday's Boston Globe, Emile Nakhleh, former director of the Political Islam Strategic Analysis Program at the CIA argues those fears are misplaced. The bigger risk in Egypt, he says, is allowing the military to tighten their grip on power and reinstall a dictatorship. Nakleh joins host Neal Conan on the Opinion Page to talk about his piece, "Islamists and democracy can mix."

How Judy Blume Changed Kids' Books
Judy Blume has been channeling the anxieties, dreams and secret thoughts of young readers for more than four decades. With her honest treatment of topics ranging from bullying, divorce and sibling rivalry to sexuality and puberty, the children's book writer has won legions of fans around the world — and the ire of critics who feel her frank books are inappropriate for young people. School libraries around the country have banned many of Blume's books over the years, including Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret, Then Again, Maybe I Won't and Blubber, making Blume a champion for supporters of intellectual freedom for young people. Neal Conan talks with Blume about writing for children, censorship and keeping books relevant for new generations of young readers.

Tensions Grow Between Pakistan And U.S.

'How To Stop The Black Friday Mayhem'
With the markdowns and midnight sales every Black Friday come the inevitable reports of shopping-related violence. One woman in a California Wal-Mart allegedly pepper-sprayed other customers over an Xbox. Outside another store, a robber shot a shopper in the parking lot, after he refused to give up his merchandise. In years past, people have been trampled to death. Adam Cohen argues it's time for stores, and the government, to do more to protect people. Cohen joins host Neal Conan to talk about his op-ed on, "How To Stop Black Friday Mayhem."