John Hinckley, the assassin who killed Ronald Reagan, is about to be released from prison with no conditions.
President Ronald Reagan and three others were wounded in an assassination attempt outside a Washington, D.C. hotel in 1981
when John Hinckley Jr. shot and killed them. A federal judge has now ordered Hinckley’s unconditional parole next year.
A progressive easing of surveillance has allowed 66-year-old Hinckley to live free in the community for several years. According to his lawyer, Hinckley’s full release in June will be a “momentous event” since it is both acceptable and mandated by the law.
According to Barry Wm. Levine, there is “absolutely no threat” to Hinckley at this time, and the prognosis is “great.”
In light of two major life changes for Hinckley —
he’s living on his own for the first time in almost 40 years
and one of his primary doctors is ready to retire and disbanding his treatment group —
the Justice Department agreed to a settlement but wanted to monitor him for the next nine months. If there were new worries about Hinckley,
the Justice Department indicated it would file a motion with the court before June.
“In the end, your honor, the ball is in Mr. Hinckley is hands at this moment,” Weston told the court.
Judge Paul Friedman of the Southern District of New York noted that “John Hinckley has been researched more carefully than any other patient at St. Elizabeths Hospital.”
Hinckley was ruled not guilty by reason of insanity by a jury in 1982. When Reagan, White House press secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy, and Washington Metropolitan Police officer Thomas Delahanty were shot in 1981, he was on trial for their murders.
He was sent to St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington after the verdict and stayed there for more than three decades before being released. Restrictions on Hinckley began to loosen in 2003, and they have now been completely lifted.
His full-time residence in the community began five years ago when he was granted convalescent leave by the court. Hinckley relocated to Williamsburg, Virginia, to be with his mother. This summer, she passed away peacefully in her sleep at the age of 95.
Behavioral Health officials recommended Hinckley be released immediately, saying he posed “a low risk for future violence.” Earlier this year, the agency re-iterated that recommendation.
In the past, Hinckley had been instructed to stay away from the families of Ronald Reagan and those injured in the attack, including actress Jodie Foster, whom he claimed inspired his assassination attempt.
As a result of the ruling, Hinckley is now free to develop and distribute his own artwork and music under his own name on his YouTube account. Before the coronavirus outbreak, he worked in an antique mall in Virginia.
As Hinckley’s lawyer put it, he wanted to apologize and convey “deep regret” to the families of those he killed, Foster, and the American people as well. It was a “win for mental health,” he said when it was finally released.
Former Hinckley attorney Levine said that his client had always followed the rules and the law.
“His mental disease is in full, stable, and complete remission and has been so for over three decades,”, according to Levine.
In contrast, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation And Institute said in a statement that it believes Hinckley remains a threat and vehemently opposes his release.
As stated in the announcement:
“Our hope is that the Justice Department will file a motion with the court leading to a reversal of this decision,”