Francisco Martin Duran
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Francisco Martin Duran
|Criminal charge||Attempted assassination of a U.S. President|
Assault of a federal officer, four counts
|Penalty||40 years imprisonment|
Francisco Martin Duran (//; born September 8, 1968) is most known for his actions of October 29, 1994, when he fired 29 rounds from an SKS rifle at the White House. Duran was later convicted of attempting to assassinate United States President Bill Clinton and sentenced to 40 years in prison.
On Saturday October 29, 1994, dressed in a trench coat, Duran approached the fence overlooking the north lawn of the White House and fired a 7.62×39mm SKS semi-automatic rifle (Chinese-made copy Type 56)  at a group of men wearing dark business suits on the White House lawn. Two nearby boys claimed they had remarked aloud just before the shooting that one of the men looked like Clinton. Secret Service agents immediately began running across the lawn, with their guns drawn, when citizens Harry Rakosky, Ken Davis, and Robert Haines tackled Duran and pinned his arms until he could be subdued. Clinton was reportedly inside watching a football game at the time of the shooting and was not harmed. The incident followed just six weeks after Frank Eugene Corder crashed a Cessna into the White House south lawn and prompted debate about closing off traffic on that area of Pennsylvania Avenue. No one was injured in the assassination attempt.
The most important charges in the two-week trial were attempted murder of the President and four counts of assaulting a federal officer (the Secret Service agents). Duran had served prison time previously, convicted of aggravated assault with a vehicle in the U.S. Army, and therefore, beyond the attempted murder of the President he was also charged with illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The other charges were use of an assault weapon during a crime of violence, destruction of U.S. property, and interstate transportation of a firearm with intent to commit a felony.
Duran pleaded not guilty and mounted an insanity defense, claiming that he was trying to save the world by destroying an alien "mist", connected by an umbilical cord to an alien in the Colorado mountains. Prosecutors stated he was faking insanity and called more than 60 witnesses to testify that Duran hated government in general and President Clinton in particular. The jury deliberated for under five hours to reject the insanity defense and arrive at the guilty verdict.
As of 2013[update], Duran is serving his sentence at the medium-security Federal Correctional Institution at Florence Federal Correctional Complex in Florence, Colorado. The Bureau of Prisons projects his release date to be the year 2029.
- "Public Report of the White House Security Review". c. 1995. Retrieved September 5, 2009.
- Locy, Toni (April 5, 1995). "Duran Convicted Of Trying to Kill President Clinton". Washington Post. Retrieved September 5, 2009.
- Inmate Locator, Federal Bureau of Prisons. Access date 28 June 2011.