A federal judge ruled Monday that John Hinckley Jr. who attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan 40 years ago can be released from all restrictions next year, provided he follows those rules and is mentally stable .
U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman in Washington said during a 90-minute court hearing that he’ll issue his ruling on the plan this week.
Friedman stated that Hinckley will be released from court supervision in June provided he is mentally stable and follows the rules imposed by the court after he moved to Williamsburg, Virginia.
Friedman stated that Hinckley has not displayed any symptoms of mental illness, violent behavior, or an interest in weapons since 1983..
“If Hinckley hadn’t attempted to kill the president, then he would have been unconditionally freed long, long and long ago,” said the judge. After all the research, analysis, interviews and all the experiences with Mr. Hinckley. “
Hinckley has been living in Williamsburg, Virginia since he moved there. Since then, doctors and therapists have had to oversee his psychiatric medication. They also decide how often Hinckley attends group and individual therapy sessions. Hinckley can’t also have a gun. He can’t reach Reagan’s children, other victims, their families or Jodie Foster, the actress he was obsessed about at the time the 1981 shooting.
Attorney Barry Levine requested unconditional release because Hinckley is no longer a threat. An 2020 violence risk analysis was conducted for Washington’s Department of Behavioral Health and concluded that Hinckley wouldn’t pose a threat.
The U.S. government opposed the May court filing that placed restrictions on Hinckley’s release. They retained an expert to assess whether Hinckley would be a danger to him or others if he was unconditionally freed. The court has not yet received the results of such an examination.
Hinckley was 25 when he shot and wounded the 40th U.S. president outside a Washington hotel. James Brady, Reagan’s press secretary, was paralysed by the shooting and died in 2014. It also wounded Timothy McCarthy, a Secret Service agent, and Thomas Delahanty, a Washington police officer.
Jurors determined Hinckley had severe psychosis. They found him not guilty of insanity and said he required treatment, not life imprisonment.